The Great White Hype

Bomb Rating: 

Since he first burst onto the scene with "Bull Durham," (Screenwriter Ron) Shelton has since done a good job of writing his career right into the toilet.

The only guy in Reginald ("House Party") Hudlin's film who appears large enough to be a heavyweight fighter is Jon Lovitz, who plays Sol, the Jewish publicist to Samuel Jackson's Rev. Fred Sultan, fight promoter extraordinaire. Slice off Lovitz's big, fat gut, and he's probably only a middleweight.

Damon Wayans plays the heavyweight champion of the world, while Peter Berg plays the hyped-up white opponent. Given that neither one of them looks the least bit like a heavyweight, their fight, which provides the climax to this film, has all the drama of midget wrestling. Usually one key to a decent sports film is that the sport actually look credible.

Saying this film is a mess is a bit of an understatement. It's one long, drawn-out Don King press conference, expanded into a two hour film. Believe it or not, Ron Shelton co-wrote the script with some other bozo whose name isn't really important. Since he first burst onto the scene with "Bull Durham," Shelton has since done a good job of writing his career right into the toilet.

Inevitably, some advertisement will claim this film is a "knockout." That's about right. Just be warned: When you open your eyes after being put to sleep by this film, the headache is one hell of a killer.

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