- 1 hr 41 min
Chuck is a sports biographical drama film that traces the life journey of Chuck Wepner, a heavyweight boxer who rose to fame in the 1970s. The movie, directed by Philippe Falardeau, stars Liev Schreiber as the lead character, Ron Perlman as his trainer, Al Braverman, and Elisabeth Moss as his wife, Phyllis. The movie is based on a true story, and it takes us through Chuck Wepner's life, from his early days as a liquor salesman to becoming a professional boxer. Chuck is portrayed as a rough-edged and -around-the-edges guy with a big heart and an even bigger ego, who loves to party and live the high life. In his early days, Chuck is plagued with bad luck, failing at almost everything he tries, until he discovers his talent in boxing.
From here on, Chuck begins his climb to the top, fighting in underground boxing bouts, and finally receiving his big break by getting a chance to fight the legendary heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali. The Ali fight is the most significant event in Chuck's life and the movie's centerpiece, with all the hopes and expectations of an entire town resting on his shoulders.
The movie does an excellent job of capturing Chuck's transformation from a small-time rebel to a celebrated athlete. We see him hitting the training ground and working harder than he ever had before, turning into a focused and dedicated fighter who never gives up. We see him enduring pain and injuries in the ring, all while trying to balance his family priorities and the temptations of life outside the ring. The movie captures the grit and the sweat, the sacrifices, and the rewards.
The performances are fantastic, with Liev Schreiber turning in a show-stopping performance as Chuck. He manages to capture Chuck's persona with remarkable accuracy, both as the charismatic personality inside and outside the ring. Schreiber's physical transformation also adds to the authenticity of his portrayal, with his heavily muscled physique and the prosthetic nose that helps him look even more like his real-life counterpart.
The supporting cast is equally impressive, with Elisabeth Moss delivering a knockout performance as Chuck's long-suffering wife. Ron Perlman is also worth noting for his portrayal of Al Braverman, Chuck's gruff and uncompromising trainer, who is always pushing his fighter to do better.
Apart from the excellent performances, the film's production values are also top-notch. The movie's cinematography and direction are noteworthy, with the boxing scenes shot brilliantly, making it feel as though the viewer is in the ring with Chuck. The soundtrack is also noteworthy, with groovy funky music from the 70s that goes a long way in helping viewers get in the mood.
Overall, Chuck is an excellent biographical drama that takes the viewer on a wild ride through the life of a boxer who achieved almost everything he ever wanted in the ring. Though the movie has its flaws, its strengths make up for them. Schreiber's performance as Chuck is an absolute standout, and the film's production values are nothing short of amazing. The film is both inspiring and entertaining, showcasing the indomitable spirit of an underdog who never gave up on his dreams. It's a must-see film for sports fans and anyone who loves a good story about resilience and determination.
Chuck is a 2017 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 41 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5 and a MetaScore of 68.