Redbelt
R
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: -2

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alice Braga, Max Martini, Tim Allen. Written & directed by David Mamet.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Set in the west-side of the Los Angeles fight world, a world inhabited by bouncers, cage-fighters, cops and special forces-types, Redbelt is the story of Mike Terry (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a Jiu-jitsu teacher who has avoided the prize fighting circuit, choosing instead to pursue an honorable life by operating a self-defense studio with a samurais code.

Terry and his wife Sondra (Alice Braga), struggle to keep the business running to make ends meet. An accident on a dark, rainy night at the Academy, between an off duty officer (Max Martini) and a distraught lawyer (Emily Mortimer), puts in to motion a series of events that will change Terrys life dramatically-introducing him to a world of promoters (Ricky Jay, Joe Mantegna) and movie star Chet Frank (Tim Allen). Faced with these challenges, and in order to pay off his debts and regain his honor, Terry must step into the ring for the first time of his life.

PREVIEW REVIEW: The substantial nature of this martial arts film, a true morality tale, one of the most absorbing Ive seen in quite some time, is due both to the writing/direction of David Mamet and his formidable cast. Mamet doing a martial arts film? Thats right. He uses the genre to tell a tale of an honorable man surrounded by corrupted people who see little reason for life other than the accruing of money no matter the destructive nature of their agendas. It may not be a masterpiece, but wisely and interestingly addresses principles that govern the human condition.

Of course, along with his well-structured dialogue, Mamet peppers his story with the f-word, a tradition of this filmmaker. But here, the writer seems to use objectionable language to relay the corruption of those whose pursuit of wealth has indeed become evil. Still, be warned, Mamet never met an obscenity he couldnt use.

DVD alternative: The Winslow Boy. (1999) Nigel Hawthorne, Rebecca Pidgeon. Writer/director David Mamet (best known for his salty dialogue in most productions) has sensitively adapted Terence Rattigan's play about a barrister defending a youth accused of school theft. Genteel look at a father's determination to see justice done. A superb screenplay by Mr. Mamet, proving a story can be told without bombarding the viewer with profane and offensive material. G (I found nothing objectionable).

Or:

Requiem for a Heavyweight. A solid drama from Rod Serling about a fighter (Anthony Quinn) whose career in the ring is nearing its end as he faces corruption in the sport. Good performances from Jackie Gleason, Mickey Rooney and Julie Harris.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: Around 30 obscenities, mostly the f-word.
Profanity: A couple of profane uses of Gods name.
Violence: Martial arts battles; a man commits suicide, he see the dead body and the grieving widow; a barroom brawl ends with a man cut by a knife. Blood: Some blood.
Sexual Intercourse: There are no graphic sexual situations.
Nudity: We see a woman remove her clothing while having a discussion with her husband. There is no nudity, as she stands there in her underwear; we see a few other scantily clad women but only briefly.
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: A man freely discusses his adultery.
Drug Abuse: Several characters (not our hero) are seen abusing alcohol and some smoke.
Other: As you know I feel most stories can be told without excessive language or other objectionable content. Here, I feel the filmmaker uses these objectionables to help portray the lives of those who have become the walking dead desensitized to the lives of others and lacking any spiritual following.
Running Time: 99 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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