Hands of Stone
Action / Biography / Drama / Sport
Hands of Stone
Action / Biography / Drama / Sport
Follows the life of Roberto Duran, who made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16-year-old and retired in 2002 at age 50. In June 1980, he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard to capture the WBC welterweight title but shocked the boxing world by returning to his corner in the November rematch, saying 'no mas' (no more).
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November 02, 2016 at 04:38 PM
Seen better movies on boxing, but a cool portrait of Roberto Duran
Not exactly what I was expecting at first from a sports movie but in the end it turned out to have the heart I expect from a sports film.
Based on the story of Roberto Duran, a poor street kid from Panama who became that country's symbol of greatest as a boxing champion. It follows his career from his glory days to how his ego caused his fall to his surprising comeback.
Edger Ramirez was fantastic as Duran and Usher Raymond as Sugar Ray Lenard was perfect casting for me hands down.
Also like the connection that Ramirez made with DiNiro who played Ray Arcel. It was very natural them bouncing off one another.
But not the best boxing movie I every seen. Though Ramereiz and Raymond look ready for combat the ring fights could have been better.
Maybe not the point for the film makers as the film documents the rise and fall of a boxing champion that closely mirrors all the other stories of how success corrupts you but if you have the heart and the mindset deep within you you can come back.
Plus the film focus on how Duran's career ran parallel to the state his country was in.
Overall, as a sports movie goes it did not draw me in like they usually do but the outcome was still the same as it plays with my heart to see a man come back from his very worst.
This is a biopic of Roberto Durán (Edgar Ramírez). It shows Durán in Panama as a child and incorporates the background of US/Panama relations. As an adult the film concentrates on his relationship with Jewish trainer Ray Arcel (Robert De Niro) who acts more like a life coach, whispering the fight strategy into Durán's ear right before the bout. How about "The Boxer Whisperer" for a title? It is a bit like the "Rocky" series as we see Durán rise up hungry from the streets and winning in a close decision. He then goes on a winner's binge and parties too much, only to lose to Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond). Durán regains the "Eye of the Tiger" by fighting in a prison. I guess there are only so many variations a boxer's life we can actually have. At least they spared us the training music montage. The film implies Roberto Durán's trash talking was a strategy to get inside another fighter's head.
In addition to representing the pride, joy and hope of Panama, Roberto Durán also represented its anger and embarrassment. It was an interesting film, and of course has a lot of ring fighting.
Guide: F-word, sex, and nudity (Ana de Armas)
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Don't need to be stoned to enjoy this one!
You have been warned. There will be plenty of pun jabs in this review, but please don't count me out yet. Roberto Duran, the legendary Panamanian boxer, is in the center ring in Writer-Director Jonathan Jakobuwicz' bio pic "Hands of Stone". Jakobuwicz features Duran Duran, and more of Duran; I just did that so I could include one of my favorite bands of all time in this review. Anyways, Edgar Ramirez stars as Duran in a bit over-the-top performance but still had a few uppercuts in his work. The film features Duran as a child living in the Panamanian slums, and then as a young man who loved the boxing game, next his eventual rise into the ring, and lastly his legendary battles with boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard. Jakobuwicz also presents Duran's personal life in his relationship with his girlfriend and then wife Felicidad. But this movie is very much also about Duran's seasoned trainer Ray Arcel, who is played with plenty of punch by the great Robert DeNiro. Arcel had a wealth of experience training champion boxers, but ran into a mob squad that physically & mentally forced him out of boxing. Years later, Arcel discovers Duran, and thought it was time to get back in. There is no doubt that Jakobuwicz does get a bit showy in several of the film's scenes; but you know what, I found them to be in the ropes of "guilty pleasure" watching. DeNiro, who needs no training in the thespian world, was brilliant as Arcel. I also enjoyed the first card supporting work from John Turturro as a mobster, Ruben Blades as Duran's manager, and Usher (yes, that Usher) as Sugar Ray Leonard. Sure, there lots of cheesy stuff in "Hands of Stone" that have a familiar ring to it, and yes I do think many will be sparring partners of mine by disagreeing with me on that it was an entertaining bio flick; but I don't see why you should not go head to head and eye to eye with "Hands of Stone". **** Good