134 min - Biography | Drama | Sport
Review: Matt Mungle
Often I will watch movies based on real events and wonder, "how
in the world have I not heard of this story?".Such a film
is FOXCATCHER. The story is intriguing, sad, and at times jaw
dropping; yet all of it was news to me. Also it is possible that
any fantastic news event that happened before the days of Facebook,
Twitter, and the good old www just didn't get the traction it
This story takes place in the mid 1980's and recounts the relationship
between two famous olympians and the billionaire that would change
their lives forever. Mark (Channing Tatum) and David (Mark Ruffalo)
Schultz both won Olympic Gold in wrestling at the 1984 games.
They had their eyes fixed on the '88 games when John du Pont (Steve
Carell) stepped in and offered them a deal too good to be true.
Always a fan of wrestling and with more money than he knew what
to do with he offered to pay the brothers to let him sponsor them
under his Foxcatcher name.He built state of the art facilities
and laid everything they needed at their feet.It all ended in
a tragedy that seems too horrific to be true.
Tatum does a solid job of capturing the style and demeanor of
Mark Schultz. He is almost ape like in his posture and movements.
Having always lived in his brother David's shadow Mark has a low
self esteem and is screaming for someone to lead and guide him.
That is more than likely what made him follow du Pont as he does.
Channing really extends himself to make his character as self
afflicting as he is. Magic Mike certainly has some drama chops
Steve Carell has done a fairly decent job of showing us he can
be dramatic. Films like The Way Way Back has shown he can step
outside his Dinner for Schmucks shell. The issue with the execution
of his character is how painfully stiff he performs. It felt as
if he was uncomfortable in the facial prosthetics that he is obviously
having to wear. He moves as if he is concerned that at any moment
he face will crack or part of his nose will fall off. Maybe this
is how John du Pont really was but for the film it is distracting
and hard to watch.
What makes this a must see would be the story and Tatum's performance.
But mainly the story. It is a well crafted drama and one that
oozes awkward tension. Especially in the scenes were du Pont is
trying to prove to his mother that he is a man who can stand on
his own. The movie isn't about them but there is a side plot that
lends itself to explaining why John is the way he is.
FOXCATCHER is rated R for some drug use and a scene of violence.
Other than some intense dramatic themes the film isn't a hard
R. Certainly it is made for adults and kids under 20 would be
bored with it. But as far as content it really has nothing offensive
in it. I give it 3 out of 5 arm bars. Not a perfect film but one
good enough to watch at some point. Maybe as a renter.