Watch Ali Director's Cut
- 2 hr 31 min
In the director's cut of the 2001 film "Ali," directed by Michael Mann, Will Smith stars as the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. The film chronicles Ali's life and career from his early days as Cassius Clay through his rise to fame as the heavyweight champion of the world and his political and personal struggles in the 1960s and 1970s.
The movie begins with Ali winning the heavyweight title from Sonny Liston in 1964 and announcing his conversion to Islam and his name change from Cassius Clay. As Ali becomes more politically active in the Civil Rights Movement and speaks out against the Vietnam War, he becomes a controversial figure who is both loved and hated by the American public. Jon Voight delivers a standout performance as journalist Howard Cosell, who becomes a friend and confidant of Ali's and helps shape his public persona.
Throughout the movie, we see how Ali's personal life intersects with his boxing career. Jamie Foxx plays Ali's long-time friend and cornerman Drew "Bundini" Brown, who helps Ali train for his fights and provides comic relief with his quick-witted one-liners. Ali's relationships with his wives and children are also explored, particularly his tumultuous marriage to his second wife, Belinda (played by Nona Gaye).
The boxing scenes in the movie are particularly impressive, with Smith training for months to accurately portray Ali's fighting style. Mann also recreates several of Ali's most iconic fights, including his matches against Liston, Joe Frazier, and George Foreman. These scenes are intense and exciting, with immersive sound design and flawless choreography.
One of the standout scenes in the film occurs during Ali's 1974 fight with Foreman in Zaire, which came to be known as the "Rumble in the Jungle." In this scene, Mann uses innovative camera work and editing to create a sense of chaos and disorientation as Ali and Foreman battle it out in the ring. The scene is intense and thrilling, making the viewer feel as though they are right there in the audience.
Overall, "Ali" is a powerful and emotional biopic that does justice to the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali. The film is impeccably made, with stunning visuals, exceptional performances, and a compelling script that keeps the audience engaged throughout. Even if you're not a boxing fan, "Ali" is a must-see film that explores themes of race, politics, and personal identity in a way that is both timely and timeless.