Joe's Preview Review: 

An indie chick flick about boxing that won a few awards at Sundance. That's what I see.

Joe's Film Review: 

Women be boxing. Director Karen Kusama's directorial debut, which she also wrote shows a true portrait of the down and dirty world of boxing while giving a viable account of a typical American Latino family. While the movie tries to say more than one thing it falls into the column of one of those women can do it just as good as men movies.

Diana (Michelle Rodriguez) is a smart mouthed, bitchy, Latino, butch female who wants to be a boxer. She's tough as nails until she turns into putty upon meeting and falling in love with fellow boxer Adrian (Santiago Douglas), the name could be a reference to Rocky. She also has to deal with her stern father (veteran actor Paul Calderon), from who she must hide her boxing lessons and somehow get money from him to pay for them.

While the characters are boxing, the movie is on par with The Hurricane. But when the movie gets romantic, it becomes overtly sappy and taking away from the strength of the boxing sequences. The action sequences showcase Kusama's abilities as a director but the love story shows she's got a lot to learn. Jaime Tirelli is excellent as the Edward James Olmos-type mentor and boxing coach that takes a chance on Diana.

While trying to show the toughness necessary to make someone a fierce competitor, in this case a young teenage woman, the character becomes a bit muddled and too wishywashy to be believable. Rodriguez has a strong introductory performance with an excellent female leading role. The film does have some good moments but overall it's not recommendable. 

Rating: 2 out of 4
Running Time: 110 minutes
Rated R for language
Starring: 110 minutes
Starring: Michelle Rodriguez, Jaime Tirelli, Paul Calderon, and Santiago Douglas
Written and Directed by: Karen Kusama

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Copyrighted by Joe "Buscemifan" Soria 1998-2001.