We see the movie levitate when Ali and Brown chant, "Float like a butterfly," the slogan that takes on a different meaning in each context, starting off as hopeful and spry, finally becoming rueful and pointed. When the film pulls off moments like these, it's breathtaking -- a near great movie.
Although I have never been a fan of Muhammad Ali's attitude and arrogance I have always been a fan of Ali the athlete. I was very pleased with this movie and it seemed to me to be very accurate in all details. They did a very good job keeping it true to life. This movie was not only factual but highly enjoyable as the story of one of my all time favorites; the greatest, Muhammad Ali. I have given it the highest rating of 10!
Powerful, emotionally stirring, and ever captivating, Michael Mann's biopic Ali is a brilliant film that is an example of Mann directing in peak form, comparable to his success with Heat and The Insider. The direction is fantastic and this film touches on many aspects of Muhammad Ali's compelling life and none of them feel out of place. They all feel as if they are coherent and moving towards the same goal. Additionally, the writing is fantastic and did a great job both capturing Ali and making compelling cinema. Will Smith is phenomenally charismatic in the lead role and truly embodies the boxing legend. The choreography of the fights and everything to do with them is fantastic with the music and editing being particular highlights. Both ensure that the fights are as climactic as possible and also compelling as possible. Overall, Ali is truly a brilliant work from Michael Mann that reaches far and high and winds up knocking out the competition.
It's not Smith's fault that the movie can't quite pry apart the man from the myth from the metaphor. The three may well be inseparable by now and, at this point in his history and ours, that's surely the way we prefer it.
Ali‘s narrative laxness comes at the fault of boxing time (a good one-third of the film’s three-hour time span is spent inside the ring). You say: But Mann knows how to direct a fight. But I say: So what?
A Will Smith in one of his most mature roles, in the shoes of the iconic and controversial champion. The script is done in such a way that it avoids the cliches of biographies or boxing dramas, which is appreciated. There are elements that seem redundant but at least they are not a drag.
This is a sporting related drama film, which covers themes including deterimination, standing up for what you believe, prejudice, social injustice and the importance of faith. I felt it was a very watchable, rather engrossing film, which is relatively fast paced - it certainly starts at quite a strong pace. The dialogue is quite sharp and witty, much as the main character was in real life. I felt it was a well made film, quite a thought provoking one at that. It certainly doesn't shy away from the issues of racism and the then lack of civil rights in the US, with Ali's disgust at the past of his people (i.e. slave ownership) being clearly put across. Religion plays a pretty key part in the plot, unsurprisingly given its importance to the man himself.
I could almost feel the anger and resentment in myself, that was clearly felt by different people at different times in the film. The film features some African music, played while Ali is visiting certain countries as a guest of honour. Other songs played include numerous Sam Cooke tracks, performed by David Elliot, which include You Send Me, Bring It On Home To Me and Somebody Have Mercy. Other songs featured include Ain't No Way performed by Aretha Franklin and As The Years Go Passing By, performed by Mighty Joe Young. I suppose the songs help to put the time the film is set in, in to context regarding the cultural, race related issues present. I thought the soundtrack helped to add to the atmosphere, with it being a very engrossing and atmospheric film in general.
Cast wise, Will Smith plays Ali. I felt he was a very good choice for the main role, as he does well at portraying Ali's mannerisms, having his sharp tongue and clearly being very motivated, stubborn and self assured, while also frustrated. I felt he seemed very believable as a man of principles. Other cast members include Jamie Foxx as Drew Brown, John Voight as Howard Cosell, Mario Van Peebles as Malcolm X (whose assassination saddens Ali deeply), Mykelti Williamson as Don King and Jada Pinkett Smith as Sonji Roi.
There is what could be seen as slightly wonky camerawork present in some scenes, with the camera moving from side to side fairly slowly but still enough to possibly put some people off. This is mostly (though probably not quite exclusively) the case during key scenes when Ali is shown being engraged or otherwise angry and upset, during one of his many outbursts. Content wise, this film contains some strong language and racially offensive, or otherwise derogatory, language. It also contains scenes of boxing matches, thus inevitably some bloody injury and violence is present but otherwise there isn't anything much else likely to offend. The film carries a 15 rating to reflect this.
I felt that this was a rather haunting film, thanks to the good soundtrack and the great performances by the cast. I felt the film was relatively engrossing and its certainly a worthwhile watch overall.
Yes I'd recommend this film, as I felt it was well made, with a great performance by Will Smith as the man himself. Its a thought provoking film, with a good soundtrack and some witty dialogue and I enjoyed watching it on that basis.
Will Smith was very good but I wanted to see more about what happened out of the ring, more about the man himself. Yes we all know he beat Foreman, Liston, etc in those fights, so why go on so long with them?
Should have brought it up to date with his later fights, Parkinsons Disease, etc rather than stopping in 1975.
say my name..
There are some genuine emotional moments and high pitched dramatic sequences that brings out the best of director and actor but somewhere between an overlong runtime of 157 minutes these scenes are overpowered by dull and mundane biographical natured stills. Ali is adapted smartly and focuses on the after events of his fame and not on its upbringing unlike any other biographies. Michael Mann whose depiction has always seemed a bit eerie to me, works like a charm here but fails to deliver more than that. Will Smith oozes power in each and every frame (especially the 'say my name' fighting sequence) along with great supporting cast like Jamie Foxx and Jon Voight. Ali is a work of art, only if it is to depict and create the reality onto the screen because as far as drama is concerned it lacks gripping screenplay to hold the audience through the last round.