Writer: Armyan Bernstein, Dan Gordon (Screenplay) Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, Sam Chaiton Terry Swinton (Book)
Starring: Denzel Washington, Vicellous Shannon, Deborah Kara Unger, Liev Schreiber, John Hannah, Dan Hedaya, Debbi Morgan
Plot: The story of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a boxer wrongly imprisoned for murder, and the people who aided in his fight to prove his innocence.
Tagline – Based on the inspirational true story of a champion.
Runtime: 2 Hour 26 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Incredible Battle for Freedom
Story: The Hurricane starts as we see Rubin Carter (Washington) win his first boxing title, but not he is in prison for what he claims is a crime he never committed, a murder. In prison he has written a book to tell his side of the story and his life. When his book is published it goes through the system until 7-years later Lesra (Shannon) picks it up with his home tutors Sam (Schreiber), Terry (Hannah) and Lisa (Unger).
As Lesra reads more of the book he learns how hard the life of Rubin had been with a white cop constantly targeting him including the framing of the murders. Lesra becomes the one young man that will try to defend Rubin and over turn the charges given to him with a new case and a fair jury.
Thoughts on The Hurricane
Characters – Rubin ‘The Hurricane’ Carter was a champion boxer, he had to overcome the race discrimination that was still flowing through America, targeted by one cop who wants him behind bars. Found guilty of a murder he never committed having given up hope of ever getting released his book sheds new light on the case. When he becomes friends with Lesra and his guardians his hope of freedom is restored. Lesra is a young man that gets taken in by three Canadians who want to give him an education, he gets inspired by Rubin’s book and wants to help him become free for his wrongful imprisonment. Lisa, Sam and Terry are the three guardians of Lesra who end up investigating the case trying to shed new light on the evidence that has been put in the trials before. These characters are all based on real people, they show us just how hard the people worked to clear one man’s name when other wouldn’t or couldn’t.
Performances – Denzel Washington received one of his Oscar nominations for this role, you can see why because he is fantastic in this leading role, having to go through a body transformation for only limited boxing time too, which shows his dedication to the role. Vicellous Shannon is the least known of this cast and he shows the enthusiasm to help his character see the bright future. Unger, Schreiber and Hannah are actors you know you will always get great performances from and this is no difference even if Hannah’s accent is questionable at times.
Story – The story focuses on the real case of Rubin Carter, a wrongfully committed prisoner who is running low on options to find his freedom until young man and his guardians come to help with the case. This story shows the racial problems that America had during the 60’s and 70’s in a time where times were changing we still had victims to the old guard that didn’t want to change. It shows how hope could help guide one man to his freedom even after people had almost given up on him.
Biopic/Sports – The sports side of this film is a well-constructed boxing match, but this is only used once because it ruined the career of the fighter. The biopic shows how the life was changed by a wrongful conviction and needing to find a way to get out of prison.
Settings – The settings show the different locations Rubin would be in out of prison, how confined he felt in jail and where the Lesra and his family have come from to help free him.
Final Thoughts – This is a biopic that is very strong, it has brilliant performances from the whole cast, a story that is almost unbelievable to think it true becomes a reality for Rubin Carter.
Overall: Must watch for Biopic fans.