The Brawler

Watch The Brawler

"The man who inspired the legend."
  • 2019
  • 1 hr 35 min
  • 4.8  (622)
  • 46

The Brawler is a 2019 biographical sports drama film which tells the true story of boxer Chuck Wepner, who was the inspiration for the Rocky Balboa character. The movie follows the life of the New Jersey heavyweight boxer, the self-proclaimed "Real Rocky", whose claim to fame was going the distance with Muhammad Ali in 1975. Zach McGowan plays Chuck Wepner, a local liquor salesman with the gift of the gab and a ferocious determination to become a professional boxer. The movie opens with a young Wepner dealing with a series of defeats in his early fights, where he was quickly knocked out by his opponents. But he starts to focus on his training and begins his journey towards becoming a successful boxer.

As Wepner climbs the ranks of professional boxing, his personal issues start to affect his training and career. His management plan is not the best, and he starts to live a wild life, including using drugs and cheating on his wife Phyllis (played by Amy Smart). Wepner's boxing career takes several unexpected turns when he manages to defeat a series of tough opponents, including Sonny Liston, earning him the nickname "The Bayonne Bleeder."

However, Wepner hits his peak when he gets the chance to fight Muhammad Ali (played by Pooch Hall) in 1975. As expected, Ali defeats Wepner, but he becomes a national hero for going the full 15 rounds with the world champion. The aftermath of that fight results in the offer for Wepner to inspire an up-and-coming writer named Sylvester Stallone (played by Adam Falkoff) to create the Rocky Balboa character in the Rocky movie franchise.

The Brawler features exceptional acting performances from the entire cast, most notably Zach McGowan, who deserves applause for his portrayal of Chuck Wepner. McGowan perfectly captures the essence of a passionate and dedicated boxer who prizes his authenticity above all else. Amy Smart also delivered a strong performance as Wepner's wife, Phyllis, who acts as the voice of reason and conviction, pushing Wepner to be the best he can be.

Director Ken Kushner does an excellent job in portraying the grit and grime of the boxing ring, which reflects on Wepner's life. The fight scenes are well-choreographed, and the use of black and white footage intercut with the live action adds a level of authenticity and realism to the film's portrayal of Wepner's career.

The Brawler is a compelling, and authentic story of a boxer who rose from obscurity to fight one of the greatest fighters of all time, inspiring a generation of boxers along the way. It’s a story of perseverance, triumph, and the struggle to find one's identity in the world of boxing. It is a film that showcases Chuck Wepner's determination, grit, and his never-give-up attitude, making it a masterpiece of an underdog tale.

In conclusion, The Brawler is a must-watch movie for boxing enthusiasts, boxing fans, and anyone who loves an underdog story. It’s a biopic that perfectly captures the essence of Chuck Wepner's life and career- complemented by passionate performances from the actors and a dynamic directorial style that immerses the viewer in Wepner's world. The Brawler may not be perfect, but it's a movie that should be on your watch list, whether you want to dive into the world of boxing or just enjoy a good biographical drama.

The Brawler is a 2019 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.8 and a MetaScore of 46.

The Brawler
Where to Watch The Brawler
The Brawler is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV, Tubi TV and Vudu Free. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Brawler for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 35 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    4.8  (622)
  • Metascore