Big George Foreman (2023)

Big George Foreman (2023)

This formulaic biopic isn’t nearly as remarkable as its titular champion



United States of America
Drama, History
Al Sapienza, Anthony Marble, Bill Martin Williams
129 min


Nothing to see here folks, just another biopic that doesn’t live up to its name.

What it's about

The film tells the story of world heavyweight champion George Foreman (Khris Davis), beginning in his childhood in the ‘60s and stretching well into the ‘90s, when he made one of the most remarkable comebacks in sports history.

The take

Big George Foreman ticks all the boxes of what a biopic should be. It shows us his troubled childhood, his bumpy rise to the top, and his eventual reconciliation with fame and boxing. It’s also nicely shot and polished, an accurately dressed period piece that looks and feels the part. But nothing about the film hits you as particularly new or exciting. Prickly topics like faith and infidelity aren’t so much explored as they are simply covered, and the dialogue sounds like something you’ve heard a thousand times. There’s also a sense that the filmmakers noticed this problem because halfway through, the movie switches into a more lighthearted tone, as if it were suddenly bored of itself. Sure, Big George Foreman is easy to follow and nice to look at, but its formulaic structure fails to distinguish itself from a long and ever-growing line of sports biopics.

What stands out

Easily, Muhammad Ali, played here by the charismatic Sullivan Jones. The actor embodies Ali in every way and even has his larger-than-life personality down pat. Since the first half of the film is a sluggish melodrama, his scene is a welcome breath of fresh air. I only wish we would’ve seen more of him; the match between him and Foreman was one of the best ones in the movie.

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