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Hands of Stone Film Review

Updated on December 2, 2016

This one was hidden from critics for a long time and did not get a major theatrical release which in other words means the studio thought it was a failure and not worthy of a major release. They will probably focus on making back the costs through home video and Blu-ray. However, the film is not a major disappointment. It is by no means a very good film but it is certainly not a bad one. I have seen much worse this year and this one goes easily under the watchable category.

“Hands of Stone” is one of the nicknames that was given to one of the most famous boxing champions of his era Roberto Duran, the Panamanian fighter who started his career at the early age of 16 and retired at the age of 50. He became the welterweight champion of the world in 1980 and in the rematch with the same fighter (Sugar Ray Leonard) he did something no one else did in boxing history, he stopped the match and returned to his corner and said “No Mas” which means no more.

The locations in this film are beautiful, the fight scenes are very good and exciting at times, and I found the pace to be decent with not much room to get bored. The cast is supremely solid especially both Edgar Ramirez as the cocky Duran and Robert Deniro as his legendary coach, they both carry the film with the right intensity. You can feel that the director likes the material that he is filming but there is something missing here that undermines his good intentions.

The movie doesn’t connect well on the emotional level. The very crowded screenplay tries to cover a lot but ends up presenting a character that doesn’t feel real and more like a fictional fun character than a real man. The film tries hard to take on a lot of different angles but it ends up failing to remain focused on anything in particular. The main character feels undeveloped and we don’t get to know exactly what makes him tick on the emotional level but instead we get a boaster who randomly changes his mind about everything.

“Hands of Stone” is far from perfect but it is not a big disappointment either. It is a decent effort with a great cast, some thrilling scenes, and a story about a real champion that most of our generation did not get the chance to know. The film’s lack of focus might be a disappointment but at the end of the day it still remains an entertaining piece of work if not a knock-out.

Rating: 6.5/10

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