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Ali

Director:  Michael Mann
Year Released:  2001
Rating:  1.0

Indulgent biopic about boxing legend Muhammed Ali and his battles with the government and ultimate path to success. It feels superfluous when compared to much more insightful works like When We Were Kings and William Klein's behind-the-scenes Muhammed Ali: The Greatest; Mann, deciding what he really needs to do is make an extended music video, is not scotch with the wall-to-wall songs and extended scenes of his subject running, looking sad or riding on a subway. The cast is uniformly excellent - therefore adding more substance to my theory that casting agents are Hollywood's most underrated visionaries - although Will Smith's Ali (expectedly) doesn't have the explosive bravado that the real Ali does (seeing him juke-jive Klein's camera in that exceptional documentary is a sight to behold; Mann wants to dig into what he figures was Ali's behind-the-scenes depression).

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