Watch The Circuit
- 1 hr 30 min
The Circuit, released in 2008, is an action-packed martial arts movie that features a talented ensemble cast, including Michelle Trachtenberg, Drew Fuller, and Paul Rae. Directed by Jalal Merhi, the film triumphs in showcasing intense fight scenes with a theme of loyalty, redemption, and perseverance. The story centers around John Resnick (Drew Fuller), a young man who joins an underground fighting circuit in New York City to help pay off his mother's medical bills. His mother, played by Kate Nelligan, is gravely ill, and her medical debts are piling up. Stuck in a difficult situation, John seeks help from his estranged father, Mike (Peter Kent), a fighter and trainer with a checkered past. However, their reunion is tense and hostile, adding to the complications of John’s life.
John's circumstances become more complicated as he falls for Nikki (Michelle Trachtenberg), the daughter of the circuit’s promoter, Reno (Paul Rae), who looks down upon John's status as a fighter. Nikki is smart, determined, and has a complicated relationship with her father, ultimately leading her towards John's path. As the story progresses, Reno’s interest in Nikki and his greed become a bigger part of the movie’s fabric.
The Circuit portrays the life of a fighter with a critical insight into the fighting underworld, where loyalty is hard to come by, rules don't exist, and the competition is rigged. The gaps in John's life are filled with an array of characters, including other fighters and trainers he meets throughout the movie. John's creditability is challenged several times, but he never gives in to the temptation of cheating and fighting dirty.
Each fight in The Circuit is unique, with every fighter showing off their unique style, moves, and psychology that come along with the adrenaline of the fight. The intense fight scenes are well-choreographed and filmed, adding authenticity to the theme of the movie. As the movie progresses, it becomes clear that not everyone is interested in a fair fight, creating several tense moments throughout the film.
In addition to the intense fight scenes, The Circuit stands out with its fantastic cast. Drew Fuller's portrayal of John Resnick is sincere, and his character's choices and struggle come off as believable. Michelle Trachtenberg, as Nikki, is a fantastic addition to the cast, bringing a fresh perspective to the story. Paul Rae's Reno is a ruthless, business-minded promoter that is more interested in exploiting fighters than anything else. The supporting cast includes some popular martial artists like Bill "Superfoot" Wallace and Bernice "The Executioner" Orttmen, adding the film’s indispensability to the action genre.
Overall, The Circuit is an extremely engaging movie that showcases the life of underground fighting with sensitivity and sharpness. The movie strikes a balance between fight scenes and heart-warming moments that come from John's journey towards understanding who he is, who he wants to be, and what he will fight for. Often overlooked by mainstream audiences, The Circuit is a delightful addition to the martial arts genre, bringing life and energy to where they are needed.
The Circuit is a 2008 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.0.