In theaters this Friday from director Ben Younger and Open Road Films is a story based on true events when it comes to the ring he is ready to “Bleed for This.”
Vinny Pazienza (Miles Teller) is a cocky boxer who keeps the world running on his time. Dad Angelo (Ciaran Hinds) is always in his son’s corner and encourages him to succeed whereas Mom Louise (Katey Sagal) can only avert her eyes and pray. But he isn’t punching like he needs to for winning.
That’s when promoters send Vinny to Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart), and the two make serious changes not only to the way the young boxer fights but moving up weight classes. Angelo isn’t happy but he watches are Vinny works hard for the next fight. When he wins the entire family celebrates!
Taking a car ride with a friend, the celebration is shattered in an instant. In the hospital, the family is told Vinny’s neck is broken and that his boxing days are over. When Vinny wakes up he sets the doctor straight on how things are going to play out. Putting his head in a halo it will take time to heal and life goes on.
Not about to let anything stop him, Vinny secretly enlists the help of trainer Rooney to get him ready box again. Being constantly told ‘no’ puts the two men in a fighting mind and when it’s time to fight Roberto Durant it is the mental halo that still rests in Vinny’s mind.
It’s time to show who you are!
Teller as Vinny begins with the attitude and swagger of a young man who doesn’t know his own mortality. His character fights more with his mouth than fists because it worked for Vinny – until he meets Rooney. Teller goes through a transformation from start to finish yet, and it has to be said, never quite loses that sauciness and that became endearing.
Eckhart as Rooney is a coach who has settled into a life that is almost seen as a joke. In trouble and running his own gym, Eckhart changes his appearance to truly dip into this character. Taking on Vinny, the “life” bulb goes off and now Rooney has a serious purpose to the sport he loves. Eckhart’s performance is very cool from start to finish.
Hinds as Angelo is a father who sees Vinny’s success as a reason to get up in the morning! After the accident, he begins to rethink everything about his son and isn’t sure how to feel about the life they had all been living.
Sagal as Louise is a dedicated to her family and truly supports everything they do. Even if Vinny’s fighting literally sends her to candle lighting and praying, it doesn’t stop her from wanting him to succeed. I loved that about this character and Sagal is an absolute character genius.
Other cast include: Christine Evangelista as Ashley, Ted Levine as Lou Duva, Tina Casciani as Heather, Liz Carey as Charity and Amanda Clayton as Doreen Pazienza.
“Bleed for This” is a story based on the life of World Champion Vinny Pazienza and Miles Teller has big shoes to fill. He did just that giving Pazienza a lot of sass, a lot of swagger, family pride and humbling in a way that only a serious car accident can.
The film doesn’t just jump right in but instead gives the audience a chance to embrace the very arrogant Vinny and watch this character change. When the accident occurs Vinny becomes not only less arrogant and the wheels are spinning about what to do next.
The cast pulls it all together nicely as each actor plays a role I hadn’t seen each do before and that’s important. There are plenty of boxing films, but what makes certain ones stand out is the surprise performances and “Bleed for This” falls into the surprise performance category.
Teller and Eckhart are really awesome together. They are both screwed up characters who could easily have just continued to fail but instead wake something in each other. These two actors bring a straight forward fighting attitude along with a bit of silliness until its time to look each other in the eye to show what they are made of.
In the end — this is what the world’s greatest comeback looks like!