This film isn't really about boxing, well it is obviously but its more about someone who wants somthing badly enough that they will do everything they can to make it happen and show the world that they can really kick some ass. The person i am talking about in this story is Jackie Kallen who became the first female boxing manager and went on to become the Commissioner for the International Female Boxers Association, and the only woman to have trained champs in six different weight classes. This is her story.
Jackie Kallen has been round boxing all her life and dreams of becoming a boxing manager. However in a very sexist society where boxing is concidered a man's sport she is never given the chance. Working under a mean boxing manager with money and not much else she eventually gets tired of the disrespect he shows her and finally speaks out, resulting in her buying a boxers contract for one dollar and vowing that she will do better than her boss.
On finding out that the boxer she has brought is pretty rubbish and is on drugs she starts looking around for new talent and comes across bad boy Luther Shaw who had to learn to fight in order to survive. After much persuation Luther agrees to fight and Jackie calls upon the help of old boxing trainer Felix Reynolds to turn him into a champ. Things eem to be going alright and Luther remains undefeated however most of the media attention stays fixed on Jackie instead of the upcoming star Luther Shaw. The attention goes to her head and she reminds Luther that without her he would have nothing and would still be on the streets. Obviously he doesn't like that much and goes in search of a new manager, but with a shot at the title right round the corner will he be ready.
The acting is really good from all the cast; the beautiful Meg Ryan as Jackie Kallen who goes from being walked all over by her bosses to top of the ladder in the boxing world; Omar Epps who plays the tough bad boy Luther Shaw who is kind of saved by Jackie and offered a way out of the ghetto that he lives in; Charles Dutton who plays the retired boxing trainer Felix Reynolds who is hired to turn Luther into champ material; Tony Shalhoub as the mean boxing manager who sells a down and out boxers contract to Jackie for a buck; and lets not forget Skye McCole Bartusiak who is only one screen for the first five minutes as little Jackie but really brings a little light with her sweet little face.
There are a number of worth while extras which make this DVD more fuller and complete. There are two documentaries; one which is about the making of 'Against The Ropes' with interviews with several of the stars in the film and some of the crew. The second documentary focuses purely on the real Jackie Kallen and her massive achievements in life. Then there is an Original Theatrical Trailer which although is not much, it is after all an extra and does give the DVD a little extra. Finally there are the usual things like subtitles for the hearing impaired and the option to have the film in another language.
Overall, 'Against The Ropes' is pretty good as far as films go although i can't quite remember whether it made it to the box office. The fight scenes are good and Omar Epps did every single scene of the fighting and as a result got a few cuts and brusies. In one of the docmentaries on the DVD someone said that they thought that the fight scenes were better than some of the epic fight films, such as Rocky. There good but i wouldn't go quite that far. An entertaining film which should satisfy most sports fans, or if you just like true stories, you should give this a go. Worth a shot!