Chuck (A.K.A. ‘The Bleeder’ in the UK and Ireland)
Sylvester Stallone was iconic in his breakthrough role as Rocky (which we previously reviewed), one of the most recognisable characters in cinema. Most people know that Stallone also wrote the film, and was struggling to make ends meet when sold the script and became a legend. But what inspired Sly to write Rocky in the first place? He says it wasn’t true, but as this biopic film about Chuck Wepner shows, The Bayonne Bleeder and The Italian Stallion have a fair bit in common.
The Bleeder charts the life of Wepner (played by Liev Schreiber) who was plucked from relative obscurity to the biggest stage, going the full 15 rounds with Muhammad Ali and shocking everyone by still being on his feet at the final bell (sound familiar anyone?) his time in the spotlight is highlighted when the Rocky film drops, echoing his epic fight with Ali, but what happens when the fame runs out?
With less focus on boxing and more on the life story of Wepner, this isn’t an edge of your seat, cheer for your fighter kind of film – similar to Million Dollar Baby, this is more of a thought provoking feature. If you’re a die hard Rocky fan you should definitely watch The Bleeder but if you’re after a hard hitting Saturday night action film you may want to look at one of our other reviews.
Most memorable line
“You don’t know me. Well, you know me, but you don’t know you know me”
– Chuck Wepner, explaining who he is
3 stars out of 5