Mann's Sam Cooke opening is a masterclass of cinematic montage, challenging the typically clunky, awkward introductions of the average bio-pic. The film lacks the humanizing qualities of Spike Lee's Malcolm X, but is an otherwise immersive experience into the world of Ali.
Smith's perfectly cast; the two men have similar personalities. Balances so many emotions (romance, heartbreak, inspiration, adrenaline, turmoil, and philosophy) focusing not just on long boxing matches, but various characters, with great period details. So expansive that it's everything it can be in its length. It's also easily the best Smith film, perhaps Mann's most underrated, and one of the best sports biopics.
Very detailed when it comes to the times and the subject matter. Yet something is missing. Although a biopic, in the end it becomes focused more on outside processes and characters (Malcolm X and so on) rather than Ali himself. Doesn't ruin the movie, but leaves a bit to be desired.
Making a movie about an iconic figure like Ali and how does Mann open the film? With Sam f'n Cooke. Doesn't get any cooler. What follows is a 10 minute opening sequence among the most impressive filmmaking of the last decade. Yeah, the Ali story/characters are a bit condensed and simplified, but Mann and Lubezki are amazing the whole way. Perhaps not compellingly dramatic, but this is filmmaking of the highest order.
In ALI, Will Smith gave a stunning perfomance. I just can’t believe he copied Muhammad Ali perfectly, from body’s muscle, face, also the voice tone! Incredible storyline from the beginning of Ali’s career,until Rumble in the Jungle, the match where Ali took back the champion’s belt which has taken unjustly from him, after he refused to join war with US army in Vietnam.
so inspirational. which is the rare occasion. i believe that biographical films should not only reflect the atmosphere of that time period but to make audience become interested in issues that the movies arise. Ali has done it perfectly. and moreover, it can inspire and motivate. which is the notion of the brilliant movie i guess.
Smith owns the role (and the production), and Mann bends over backwards to comply with the demands put upon him by the assignment without compromising his signature style/interests. The result is not much of a movie dramatically. Instead, it's an awesome visual experience, a brutal tone-poem about becoming a god to millions at a heated moment in American history.