Mike Tyson retells the highs and lows of his career in this documentary. It begins with his tough Brooklyn upbringing, his discovery by his mentor Cus D’Amato. The film then documents his years at the top, his years of excess and his many falls from grace and his loss of boxing prowess – where he blatantly admits he was boxing ‘for the money’.
The film has some good archive footage, of the early Tyson and more importantly footage of his fights – so rarely seen due to copyright issues, serve to remind the viewer of how menacing and unbeatable he was in his prime, which is made all the more poignant when looking at his later career.
Toback does have an annoying habit of splitting the screen up – as if to be an obvious analogy with Tyson’s own split persona. Tyson himself comes across as a man who has two distinct sides to his personality, physically he’s one of the scariest (to me anyway) people on the planet and yet he has one of the softest girlie voices – not that I would tell him! He either views women as whores or something to be protected and kept safe, having said that I found the section when he is talking about what he wants from a woman quite disturbing – if I’m being honest he scares the hell out of me.
Tyson speaking about his old mentor is genuinely touching, he realises the debt he has to Cus D’Amato who saved him from the street but didn’t live long enough to see his rise and fall in the world of boxing. Would Tyson’s story be any different if he had been there to steer his path?
Its an interesting documentary, Tyson comes across as a mass of contradictions and it also made me realise that boxing is now a corporate sport on pay per view, not seen on terrestrial television for the masses, which even though I don’t like the sport, is a shame for future generations.
Directed by James Toback
Mike Tyson – himself
The rest of the cast are seen in archive footage.
Read more at: Nerve Curve