Against the Ropes

It's not hard to understand why Meg Ryan would be attracted to the true story of ballsy boxing manager Jackie Kallen: a chance to dress and talk Erin Brockovich-trashy and maybe snag Oscar attention. But the movie, so loosely based on Kallen's life as to bear no relation to human life on this planet, is a stiff. A miscast Ryan struggles with a Detroit accent and a script that goes nowhere. Good actors — Omar Epps as a wanna-be champ, Charles Dutton as his trainer, Tony Shalhoub as a promoter — go down with the ship steered by Dutton, who also serves as director. Critics and audiences should unite to KO this loser.

From The Archives Issue 232: February 10, 1977
x