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‘Fighting’: Not Another Teen Movie About Underground MMA

(When you see it, you’ll shit bricks. Image courtesy of FilmDrunk.)

You thought Never Back Down was hardcore? Bro, you have no idea. FilmDrunk gives us the heads-up about another sure-to-be-amazing MMA-related movie in production, which is called, simply, Fighting. No, it’s not about professional mixed martial artists working their asses off to break through in the most demanding sport on Earth, because how boring would that be? It’s about an underground fight league, and it stars a pretty-boy named Channing Tatum. Dig the plot synopsis:

Small-town boy Shawn MacArthur (Tatum) has come to New York City with nothing. Barely earning a living selling counterfeit goods on the streets, his luck changes when scam artist Harvey Boarden (Terrence Howard*) sees that he has a natural talent for streetfighting**. When Harvey offers Shawn help at making the real cash, the two form an uneasy partnership.
As Shawn’s manager, Harvey introduces him to the corrupt bare-knuckle circuit, where rich men bet on disposable pawns***. Almost overnight, he becomes a star brawler****, taking down professional boxers, mixed martial arts champs***** and ultimate fighters****** in a series of staggeringly intense bouts. But if Shawn ever hopes to escape the dark world in which he’s found himself, he must now face the toughest fight of his life.*******

* I was surprised enough when Djimon Housou signed on for NBD. How did they convince the Oscar-nominated Howard to play a street hustler in a teenybopper fighting flick? Was he worried that he was becoming too well-respected?

** "Ay mayn, I saw the kimura-lock you put on that crackhead. You could go places with that shit."

*** No they don’t. This "underground fighting circuit" fantasy has been portrayed in countless movies, at least since Lionheart, and it needs to end. We have above-ground fighting circuits now, and they really exist, and they’re awesome.

**** How does one define stardom in the illegal brawling world? Does Shawn score the cover of Outdated Movie Cliche Weekly?

***** I wouldn’t exactly call Dan Quinn a "champ" — but the WAMMA light-heavyweight belt was on the line, so I guess its legitimate. 

****** For the unfamiliar, "Ultimate Fighters" are like mixed martial artists, except they have the powers of flight and invisibility.

******* Eczema.

Related: Our buddies at ScreenJunkies hear that Mickey Rourke has joined the cast of The Expendables, that Sly Stallone joint co-starring Randy Couture. I just saw The Wrestler, and Rourke kicked fucking ass. So as cool as this news is, I kind of hope the Natural doesn’t get any scenes with Mickey Crazy-Face, because he’d get completely tooled, acting-wise.

Cagepotato Comments

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moda- February 13, 2011 at 4:37 am
After looking through this post I have decided to subscribe to your rss feed. I believe your future posts will end up being just as informative.
thetuf75- January 8, 2009 at 10:01 am
Is this a remake of the film GLADIATOR with Cuba gooding Jr and James Marshall?
Surfin Dave- January 8, 2009 at 9:10 am
Damn, just like Hollywood to make the Kimbo Slice story, but recast the older black man as a younger white guy. And let me guess, they replace Seth Petruzelli with a bigger black man (maybe Kimbo in a cameo?) but white-Kimbo beats the Seth character in the movie version so we can have a happy ending and $kala is a hero for making it all happen.

Of course, the sequel will have white-Kimbo taking on the big, mean, evil Russian dude who everyone considers the best fighter in the world.
Terjay- January 8, 2009 at 2:29 am
Really... Go watch The Wrestler. It's awesome.
Whisper- January 7, 2009 at 10:11 pm
LOL @ many of these comments!

The screenshot looks kind of like a gay porn version of Never Back Down (whose title would not have to be changed in its transition from bad teen movie about fighting to gay movie about teen f*cking).
fuck get carter- January 7, 2009 at 8:08 pm
get carter is about as lame as sly stallone downing his hgh shakes. although it sounds like this movie took some cues. weak, unbelievable, horrible acting, lame action. yup, sounds like "get carter 2: electric boogaloo"

eat shit google
richorama- January 7, 2009 at 7:54 pm
"We have above-ground fighting circuits now, and they really exist, and they're awesome."

That's muthafuckin' right.
Anonymous- January 7, 2009 at 7:15 pm
sPeLLcHeCkEr- January 7, 2009 at 6:56 pm
LOL @ "mma-pro Says: no that is just steve mazzagatti dressed like a turtle"

But, Mazzagatti already IS a turtle...?
Lysol- January 7, 2009 at 6:37 pm
Okay, over or under: 50 times the TapouT logo appears in this movie.
Billy Bad Ass- January 7, 2009 at 4:44 pm
The Turtle is Film Drunk's mascot.
Dmonicideals- January 7, 2009 at 3:56 pm
Gladiator? You bet he was!
Patrick- January 7, 2009 at 3:34 pm
I already saw this movie, it was called Gladiator about 15 years ago. Same concept, just boxing instead.
Eveboy420- January 7, 2009 at 3:24 pm
Umm Classic Rourke movies! 9&1/2 weeks Kim Basinger nekkid!! yes Harley Davidson & the Marlboro Man, Rumble Fish, Man On Fire(not a huge Rourke role but wut a wicked flick!) Domino, Year of the Dragon... thats all i could think of right now yea that guy is the shit as its been said all over Hollywood theres only one real badboy in Hollywood and its him! that guy loves his drinking,drugs and fighting atleast he use to.
JesseL- January 7, 2009 at 2:50 pm
You thought Never Back Down was hardcore? Bro, you have no idea.

google- January 7, 2009 at 2:30 pm
If you think he was good in sin city, you should check out Get Carter, with Sly also, and My personal fav Harley Davidson and Marlboro Man.
And as El Guapo always- January 7, 2009 at 1:59 pm
I thought that was a screen shot for the sequel to brokeback mountain
Criminally Negligent - January 7, 2009 at 1:24 pm
Bloodsport is the gold standard of the genre.
DDT- January 7, 2009 at 1:17 pm
I know this movie sounds bad but I heard that the main character is actually a werewolf and he has to try and maintain his human form when fighting...too bad his biggest fight is under a full moon...uh oh. That twist I think will make this movie worth watching.
Farthammer- January 7, 2009 at 1:16 pm
The Turtle is Homophobic Turtle, I believe. You guys should read that site if you like movies at all; FilmDrunk is pretty fucking funny.

OBI - Angel Heart was pretty cool. And that's not even counting the Cosby-kid boob-bonus.
Old, Bald and Irish- January 7, 2009 at 1:09 pm

"Douchebaggery" with the second "Comment of the Week"!
Old, Bald and Irish- January 7, 2009 at 1:08 pm
Aw, man. "C-Bus Allstar", you make me feel even Older, Balder and Irish-ier.

I saw Rourke in "Angel Heart" the theaters.

Glad to see his career is back on track.

my advise to everyone is to avoid this turd and take the time to watch "Redbelt", which was actually a very good movie. It's not an MMA film, but totally worth watching.

If you wanna see a good MMA beat-'em-flick, check out Wu Jing in "Fatal Contact".

Now go "NetFlix" those muthers!
Douchebaggery- January 7, 2009 at 1:02 pm
the "turtle head" "poking out" is a metaphor for what a toilet bowl of a movie this will be
Perdew- January 7, 2009 at 12:53 pm
@ C-Bus Allstar

what grade are you in? seriously, who the fuck discovered mickey rourke from sin city???

he even performed on bowie's album never let me down. that's talent.

try watching rumble fish or the pope of greenwhich village
Sweep the Leg- January 7, 2009 at 12:48 pm
The turtle is obviously either Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Donatello, or Raphael. It is hard to tell because this scene is obviously before he has been exposed to the radioactive toxic waste that mutated him into semi-human form, and therefore prior to the four donning their respective colors and training in their particular weapons.

I always thought it was Splinter that taught them their martial arts, but maybe Hollywood doesn't think a mutant rat will sell as well as a "small town pretty boy that moved to the big city."