Mann, a notorious obsessive, couldn't have picked a more ambitious topic. The herculean task proves too much, yielding a film that lacks focus or insight into its subject. Ali is depicted during a contentious decade (1964-1974), in which he converted to Islam, befriended civil rights icons, refused the draft, was stripped of his title, married three times, and blurred lines between sport, ethics and society. Perhaps it's no coincidence that screenwriter Roth, who previously penned "Forrest Gump," was chosen to chronicle Ali amid such historic happenings. Mann's visual skills are apparent, and Smith gives an inspired performance in and out of the ring. Other noteworthies include Foxx as cornerman "Bundini" Brown, and Voight as verbose sportscaster Cosell. Despite the charisma of its subject (and its lead), film feels distant and subdued. Lands a few clean blows, but certainly not a knockout.
Sony Pictures Home Video, Sony Pictures Plz., 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232, Phone: (310)244-7306, Fax: (310)280-2485, URL: http://www.spe.sony.com, Remarks: Formerly Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment
Available on VHS, DVD
Running time 158 minutes.
Originally from United States.
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