A young sports journalist Erik (Hartnett) who is very sick of living in his father’s shadow/reputation. Sets out on a huge story when he thinks a former boxer who was almost the champ is still alive. He spends a lot of time with champ getting his life story and how he went from almost champion of the world, to ending up living on the streets with no-one.
Erik had other battles going on when trying to get champs story together for a magazine article, he was trying to be a hero to his son and win back his wife who he was separated from. This was proving very tough for him at times, as he was trying to be the father he never had to his son as he did not want to make the same mistakes and hurt his son. But by trying to be superman he was lying to his son about being “friends” with different sports stars of whom his son idolised.
The story was printed and received a lot of praise, and many job offers for Erik. However, just after the article hit the shelves he received a phone call from a boxing guy who was convinced Bob was dead. It wasn’t until Erik showed him a video that they figured out champ was indeed the other boxer in the ring in that game. After this Bob’s son was trying to sue Erik and the newspaper for damages as his father was indeed dead. So champ was in fact another boxer, but ended up saying he was Bob for years.
This caused a lot of heartache for Erik’s family especially his son, when he got embarrased at careers day. Erik had a confrontation with the champ trying to find out why he lied, which ended up with Erik in hospital after trying to start a fight with champ. Erik eventually managed to re-do his story and straighten everything out and realise that it did not really matter who champ was as they had become friends.
I thought this was a very good sports film, and yes I have seen a lot of sports films. Samuel L. Jackson was fantastic as usual, in my eyes he really can do no wrong at all, he really does seem to just take a part and own it every time. I liked Josh Hartnett a lot in this film too, I thought he was very believe able in the role and showed a lot of depth for the character. I have not been his biggest fan over the years but I very much enjoyed this performance. Peter Coyote really shocked me as he looked so old in this role, I had to actually check it was him when the credits rolled.