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Play it to the Bone

movie review out of 4 Movie Review: Play it to the Bone

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Woody Harrelson
Director: Ron Shelton
Rated: R
RunTime: 124 Minutes
Release Date: January 2000
Genres: Comedy, Sports

*Also starring: Lolita Davidovich, Lucy Liu, Tom Sizemore, William Utay, Robert Wagner

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Susan Granger review follows movie review
2.  John Beachem read the review movie reviewvideo review
3.  Harvey Karten read the review ---

Review by Susan Granger
1 star out of 4

From writer/director Ron Shelton we've come to expect good sports movies like Bull Durham (baseball), Tin Cup (golf), and White Men Can't Jump (basketball) but this flimsy, raunchy story about over-the-hill boxers doesn't measure up. Woody Harrelson plays a bald, tattooed eccentric who has found Jesus - but hasn't worked in years. Neither has his rival and best-buddy, Antonio Banderas, who happens to be dating his ex-girl-friend, Lolita Davidovich when, suddenly, they get the chance of a lifetime. It seems two middleweight fighters have canceled and a sleazy promoter (Tom Sizemore) asks them to be the opening card of a Mike Tyson bout at Vegas' Mandalay Bay Hotel. The job promises big money - $50,000 each - plus a bid for the middleweight championship, but there's a catch: they have to get there immediately. Fortunately, Davidovich has a grass-green 1972 Olds 442, so they take off from L.A. scrambling through the sizzling desert. Now, right away, one wonders why the hotel didn't send a jet - or at least plane tickets - but that's part of the problem if the underwritten script. Besides, half the film is spent on the road trip in which we learn more than we ever wanted to know about the bickering threesome, plus there's Lucy Liu as a free-spirited hitchhiker. By the way, the title refers to the commitment of not quitting until you've achieved your goal. Finally, the fighters get into the ring but, by that time, I was ready to throw in the towel. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Play It To The Bone is a fumbling, flat-footed, formulaic 3, filled with foul language. In one scene, Harrelson says: "Any guy with any gal is a mismatch - we're just not equipped to go the distance." Neither is this movie.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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