Unrivaled hits DVD shelves

Saturday, 29 May 2010 11:31

“Unrivaled” aims to be the new “Rocky” for today’s generation of young adults brought up on the bone-crunching sport of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Ringo Duran (Hector Echavarria) is a washed out, sagging past master who’s heavily in debt to some bad people and barely scraping a living together as a barman at a pole-dancing club.

Backed into a corner by the loan sharks, the only way Ringo can save himself is to enter a high profile tournament to uncover the world’s best amateur fighter. The prize is $100,000, which is more than enough to clear Hector’s debts, but first he will have to overcome some younger, meaner fighters before confronting the reigning Mixed Martial Arts Champion, Chris “The Pressure” Holland (Rashad Evans).

Unrivaled hits DVDThe ultimate underdog, Hector has the backing of just his gorgeous girlfriend Kara (Jordan Madley), his physical trainer and best mate Link (Steven Yaffee) and his coach Raphael (Nicholas Campbell), whose gymnasium he frequents. His rivals (played by man-mountains with comical names like Keith "The Dean of Mean" Jardine) have some serious financial and criminal muscle behind their not inconsiderable biceps, and between them they will stop at nothing to deliver the result their sponsors demand.

If Hector is going to succeed, he will require an unbelievable amount of heart, not to mention some very good fortune.

This is not a subtle film, but then UFC is not a subtle sport! It boils down to scene after scene of face-slamming, arm-dislocating combat, intermixed with sexy topless pole-dancing and the odd slice of plot exposition. Fights break out inside the cage, in the gym, outside in the car park and everywhere in between, and although the camera work is a little too jumpy and close-up some of the time, because the stars of the film are genuine UFC fighters, they do at least make the brawls look fairly realistic.

Hector and his co-stars are generally charismatic and as his opponents and their paymasters are painted in such an unsavoury manner you cannot help but get behind Ringo. Cheating is rife, and although Ringo is a bit of a softy, you know he will get his act together when it matters most. The fact that he is aging and less physically imposing that his opponents does harm the credibility a bit, but you just go with it.

The acting is acceptable, certainly better than previously seen in output from the likes of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

In summation, this movie is predictable, light-weight entertainment for those looking for a quick, cheap thrill. The soundtrack has some suitably emotive pop and rock numbers to drive home the on-screen sentiment. The action is toned down in comparison with the real deal, but for the queasier members of the audience that makes the film easier to stomach.

“Unrivaled” (2010) is out now on DVD, courtesy of E1 Entertainment. The main feature is 104 minutes approx, certificate ‘18’. Details of any special features on the disc were unavailable at time of press. The movie retails for £12.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com



Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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