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DVD Review: Fight Night (2008)

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Michael Dublin (Chad Orits, who looks like the lovechild of Richard Grieco, Seann William Scott, and Tom Cruise) is your average malicious trickster who organizes fights in the illegal world of underground boxing. His average night consists of watching his prized fighter get beaten into a bloody pulp — and his own beating at the hands of angry patrons who don’t appreciate being insulted or conned is usually not far behind. One evening, as he faces the wrong end of a handgun, he is inadvertently saved by a feisty lass named Katherine “Kat” Parker (real-life athlete Rebecca Neuenswander) — a woman with more balls than the entire UFC staff combined.

Not taking “no” for an answer, Dublin begins to hound Kat into fighting for him so that they may both make a lot of moolah and pursue the dreams they have each fantasized about for so long. Naturally, as is customarily the case in any drama about fighting, the road to success is a long and bloodied one — and both Kat and Dublin will have to face several demons from their pasts to get there.

For a low-budget, shot-on-digital-video flick, Fight Night (originally titled Rigged) manages to keep the average viewer (well, me) entertained through its one hour and 45-minute runtime. The actors, while not being industry professionals, deliver believable enough performances despite sometimes reading their parts instead of playing them (but it’s forgivable). The movie’s production values, while on the cheap, possess a lot of quality to them — and if editor/producer/director Jonathon Dillon decides to become a full-time Hollywood filmmaker in the future, it would be a waste of talent not to hire him.

Peach Arch Entertainment has done a fine job in bringing Fight Night to DVD with a very good 1.77:1 16×9-enhanced transfer of the film. English 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital soundtracks are your sound options here, kiddos — only you may want to crank it up a bit — it seemed rather low to me. Spanish subtitles and English closed captioning are available.

In the illustrious special features department for Fight Night, director Jonathon Dillon provides us with a feature-length audio commentary for his project, and several deleted scenes are also on hand. The only other extras included are some trailers.

The long and short of it here: the story, while simplistic, has enough emotion present to keep the flame burning… although that ending has got to go (it didn’t seem “realistic” enough to me considering the events and characters laid out in the rest of the film). But, since beggars cannot be choosers and since I also rather enjoyed the film, Fight Night gets about a B- in my book.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.