Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
on 26 January 2011
I found this film entertaing enough because Ving Rhames played Sonny Liston and Stacy Dash played his wife and both actors did a fine job.
The problem i have with the movie is simple. Did it portray the character truthfully or was it mainly wishful thinking. The record books show that Sonny battered the then heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson twice. So why did he get beaten by the younger Cassius Clay and in the second bout in 1965 by this so called phantom punch. It's the title of the film yet it does not even explore this.
The mystery still exists and as Sonny never talked about it, it never will be solved. He died in 1971 and his death was another mystery.
The film was so matter of fact that it can only be described as a sporting drama. Heavyweight boxing in the 60s was plagued by problems. Racism, mob influences, corruption and so on. It was a difficult period. This film touched on some of that aswell as Sonny's problems with the law. How accurate was the portrayal?
The reality is quite sad so maybe this film was a mistake in the pursuit of entertainment.
Extras include some text pages about heavyweight champions. I would have liked some interviews maybe explaining why this film was made.