Topless Female Boxing. There. The reader is paying attention. Yet, if the subject has been covered in a less appealing way than here, I probably don’t want to see it. Indeed, as the toplessness is neither vital to the plot, nor visually pleasing, you wonder why they bothered. The main character here is 18-year old Ariel (Bennett), whose relationship with her father (Riley) is disturbingly close, to the point that she punches his date Mary (Laskowski) for using – entirely aptly – the word “creepy”. This pisses-off Mary’s sister, Julie (McGeachie), an even badder-ass than Ariel, who channels anger into the previously mentioned TFB, with a 38-0 record. She confronts father and daughter, aiming to make them fix their mistake. Viewers will likely eagerly anticipate Ariel getting her ass handed to her by Julie…
I approached with caution, largely because the sleeve invokes Knockout, perhaps the worst boxing movie of all time [see the Trash City review, but don’t confuse with Knockouts]. Luckily, this is closer to Fight Club, not least in terms of violence as social therapy. We really liked Julie, who is entirely comfortable with her aggression, and McGeachie’s stare rivals Michelle Rodriguez for intensity. Generally though, it’s well written and acted; even minor characters such as a barman are fleshed out. The edgy, icky feel is enhanced by Bennett being the director’s daughter, inevitably raising questions about art and life. [I asked Chris what her reaction would be, if I directed a movie with our daughter doing full-frontal nudity. Unsurprisingly, her response involved my testicles and a dull blade.] Canadian, typically off-beat, and a good deal better than expected.
Dir: Guy Bennett
Star: Michael Riley, Sonja Bennett, Meredith McGeachie, Marcia Laskowski