Foxcatcher (2014)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Wrestling is stupid.

I should say something before starting this review. I was born to hate this movie. I say that because nothing about this film sparked any interest for me. First of all, I’ve never been a huge sports fan, and I’ve especially never understood people’s fascination with a sport like wrestling. Second of all, I’m not even that huge on biographical drama in film – not because they aren’t done well – but more along the route that they are just plain boring when it comes down to it. The one and only reason I decided to watch Foxcatcher was because Steve Carell starred in it – and I’m one of his biggest fans. So off I went to watch it (knowing absolutely nothing about the true story) – and here I am to talk about the film. How was it? It was boring and weird.

Alright, so Channing Tatum plays Mark Shultz, who is a very well-known wrestler – along with his brother and personal trainer, Dave. Out of the blue, Mark receives a phone call from John du Pont, a multi-millionaire who has some kind of strange fascination with Wrestling, and offers Mark a big bag of cash to join him on an adventure to…remind America that they are awesome again…or something…through wrestling. Their main goal is to win at the Seoul Olympics of 1988.

Where to even begin with this review…let’s start at the acting, because out of everything that this film had to offer – that was the best part. Remove any part of the story, era, or plot devices, and you just have the actors and the characters that they portray. Without a doubt, they all did a remarkable job portraying these very unique and strange characters. It presented Wrestling in a way that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before – especially with those caught in the middle of the pains and torments of preparing for a big game. These characters don’t seem fake. Weird, absolutely, but in some odd way – they definitely seem real. People are curious things, and the way they truly react to different events and other people’s attitudes is something else. Foxcatcher was pretty realistic in that sense, but because I’m not a huge fan of biographical dramas…I was just bored.

As for wrestling… no, I’m not the biggest fan of wrestling, but I’m also not the biggest fan of football, hockey, boxing – you name it. The difference here is that each sport usually has a fantastic film that goes along with it that makes me like that specific sport – as temporary as it is. For football, there are so many movies like Rudy or Remember the Titans. For hockey, you have The Mighty Ducks. For boxing, Rocky comes to mind. These films made a difference and had you looking at sports in a whole new light…this was just weird.

I think what it was going for was more of a biopic on John du Pont – and the history regarding his life and legacy. However, as I’ve mentioned above, I wasn’t super familiar with the story, so when things unfolded the way they did – it felt somehow rushed and not entirely smooth. All you know throughout the film is that John du Pont is just a weirdo and hard to read – but that’s it. If you aren’t familiar with the story, don’t look it up or you’ll get spoiled. Obviously.

The Good:

On a very technical level, Foxcatcher did practically everything right. If you are into wrestling and know the story well – you will most likely love this thing. The acting is superb (probably the best from Tatum), the cinematography is lovely, the music fits right in – and it tells the story like it is supposed to.

The Bad:

Almost the entire film had me dozing off because I don’t care for wrestling or biopics. The performances were different and interesting – but not enough to the point where I was into the film itself. I can respect it on a certain level, but I don’t care to see it again.


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