Big George Foreman

Big George Foreman

The life and boxing career of George Foreman.

Boxing movies have proven an incredibly successful formula for Hollywood over the years, so it’s perhaps surprising that it’s taken until now for someone to make a movie about the life of George Foreman, two time heavyweight champion of the world turned grill entrepreneur. Played by Khris Davis in this biopic, George Tillman Jr’s movie follows the classic formula of looking at its subject’s life from cradle to grave (noting Foreman is still alive), covering all of the main moments in his life and career. For what it lacks in originality, ‘Big George Foreman’ makes up for with the story of an interesting life and man, and I found this to be an enjoyable movie.

The opening sequences set the scene for who Foreman was and what drove him to become a boxer, with the primary factor being an upbringing in extreme poverty that made him a particularly angry and bitter young man. Spotting his power and potential, Doc Broadus (Forest Whitaker), a former boxer and now supervisor at a youth work camp, takes Foreman under his wing and teaches him to channel his anger into the sport of boxing. We then follow Foreman’s rise to become one of the youngest heavyweight boxers of all time, taking in his title fight with Joe Frazier, the rumble in the jungle with Muhammad Ali (Sullivan Jones, in one of the best performances of the movie), and his near death experience that took him away from boxing to become a preacher.

I’m not a massive boxing fan in real life so it meant I could watch some of this and not know the outcomes of the fights or of Foreman’s career, so what happens after he takes up preaching I’ll leave you to discover (or if you know already then you know), but it entertained me more than I expected it too. While there is no doubt that ‘Big George Foreman’ is quite formulaic, the ‘source’ material is strong enough to form the basis for an enjoyable movie and this is a pretty good watch.

Rating: 3/5

Directed By: George Tillman Jr.

Starring: Khris Davis, Jasmine Mathews, John Magaro, Forest Whitaker, Sullivan Jones, Sonja Sohn, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., Shein Mompremier and Carlos Takam

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