Bleed for this is the biographical film depicting the life of Vinny ‘The Pazmanian Devil’ Pazienza (played by a jacked Miles Teller), a world champion boxer who was involved in a near fatal car crash that broke his neck and left doubts about whether he’d be able to walk again, despite his vows to step back in the ring.
What I really like about this film is its one of those fight films that surpasses the fighting; yes it contains some great fight scenes, and Miles Teller’s hard work on the pads and in the gym (and dodgy facial hair) make a convincing Vinny Paz, but at it’s heart this film is about the fall and rise. We see Vinny go from cockily stepping onto the scales against Roger Mayweather to laying in a hospital bed strapped down so he doesn’t sever his spinal cord. Like the boxer dragging himself up off the canvas to beat the ten count and go another round, this film is about watching a true fighter get his legs back under him in order to get back into the fight – though with some light relief along the way.
Beautifully filmed, though with some poetic license, the performances from Teller and Aaron Eckhart (who plays trainer Kevin Rooney) are both fantastic, and you’ll definitely find yourself cheering Vinny on throughout the film. You even find yourself agreeing with Vinny’s final comments of the film, and motivating interview with a reporter that I won’t spoil for you.
Most memorable line
“Vinny, we started this in a basement! Now, go out there and show me how you do things. Show me how you live. Show me how you fight!”
– Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart)
4.5 stars out of 5