All major sports stars, particularly ones from the major sports of baseball, soccer, American football, basketball and hockey, get the popularity treatment. This not only includes press but also marketing along the lines of clothing, media and other collectible knick knacks. For other sports, such as boxing, there are usually a few athletes that stand out that get the most attention during and after their careers. Muhammad Ali immediately comes to mind as one of the greatest boxers ever, and justifiably gets a book or documentary made about him every other year. Unlike the accolades of Ali, the other boxer that never seems to go away in terms of popularity is Mike Tyson.
Mike Tyson has a boatload of DVDs dedicated to his career, many of which are the typical rehashing of his countless, quick fights. A few more recent offerings are dedicated to the dramatic life of the boxer, with Tyson often giving hindsight observations about what his life was really like. Tyson Unleashed is unique from the rest of the media releases and not necessarily in a good way. In truth, it doesn’t hide its intentions as a mere cash grab.
Picture yourself in large, cavernous warehouse in the modestly sized city of Petersborough in England. Lots of guys with cameras, a few women who have dates with the camera guys, and many round, white-clothed tables that don’t look they’ve been eaten on. They’re all glued to a portly guy named Steve Bunce who stands on a long, collapsible stage and is trying to get them excited for the evening.
For the first eleven minutes of the DVD, Bunce introduces a lot of people to come up onstage and sit at a large table behind him. By the way, none of these people are named Mike Tyson. Given that the entire length of the main part of the DVD is nearly fifty minutes, the viewer is forced to watch a fifth of the video’s length without much of a sight of Tyson. In the end, aside from a few references from Tyson, these people are virtually ignored for the rest of the film.
Finally Tyson is introduced and escorted to the stage by guards. People have their cameras out and are trying to take a picture of the man who looks a lot smaller in a nice suit. Once he gets onstage Tyson takes a seat and is asked the expected questions regarding a boxer reflecting on his career. This continues for thirty minutes or so. Most of Bunce’s questions are predictable and have been posed many times before in print. Therefore, unless you actually want to watch the words directly come out of Tyson’s lips, much of the discussion has already been written elsewhere.