Born A Champion – Movie Review
Director: Alex Ranarivelo
Writer: Alex Ranarivelo (Screenplay) Sean Patrick Flanery (Story)
Starring: Katrina Bowden, Dennis Quaid, Sean Patrick Flanery, Currie Graham, Costas Mandylor, Maurice Compte, Reno Wilson, Ali Afshar
Plot: Mickey Kelley, one of the first American black belts in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, gets pulled away from everything he loves and into an unsanctioned MMA tournament.
Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Born a Champion starts as we meet Rosco (Compte) who is telling the story about his friendship with Mickey Kelley (Flanery), a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, whose skills saw him offer jobs around the world, where a chance meeting lets him meet Layla (Bowden) who would become his wife.
When MMA is first starting out, the fights aren’t considered sports, leaving the fights to be outside of the US, leading him to get an injury, forcing him to step away from fighting, until the video of the fight makes the rounds on the internet, offering Mickey a potential new comeback to the sport.
Thoughts on Born a Champion
Born a Champion is a story about a man that dedicated his life to mastering a fighting style for more self-defence but being able to use it in combat. Who could have a life changing opportunity in MMA before it became a more recognised sport. This is a story that will play the traditional beats of an underdog story in a combat sport. Throwing different obstacles in the way of underdog. There is a terribly reckless decision made along the way in the story, which will leave you wondering why someone would do something so naïve too.
The performances in the film are solid enough. Sean Patrick Flanery seems to be focusing a lot of his work into the combat movies these days. Showing a commitment in the fight sequences and training. This is told in a way that is slightly more confusing, as the person recounting the events of the film. Doesn’t seem to be in a lot of the scenes, but the film will have one recurring comedy moment. Of the couple always turning to Rosco for a break and the other turning up to make up quickly.
Final Thoughts – Born a Champion is a by the books underdog combat movie that ticks all the boxes.