by Tony Medley
Running Time 134 minutes
OK for children.
This is your
quintessential Hollywood long, boring movie starring, not
unsurprisingly, the actor with two last names, Channing Tatum. Directed
without an iota of pace by Bennett Miller, it has the further detraction
that it doesn’t explain a thing about Olympic wrestling, a sport with
arcane rules that could use some explaining. How Miller could have won
the Cannes Film Festival award as Best Director for this film is a
Based on a tragic
true-life story about 1984 Olympic Gold Medal winners Mark and Dave
Schultz (Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, respectively) and a richer-than-Croesus
wrestling coach wannabe, John du Pont (an almost unrecognizable Steve
Carell, in a terrific performance), who starts a training ground (the
Foxcatcher National Training Center) on his estate for wrestlers who
want to train for the Olympics, this film (written by E. Max Frye and
Dan Futterman) moves with the speed of a sleepy turtle. It failed the
watch test dismally. DuPont wants to escape the influence of his
disapproving mother (Vanessa Redgrave) by proving he can do something
himself. But he’s equally domineering over the hapless wrestlers as his
mother is over him, and puts the Schultz’s in a difficult position.
Tatum gives a good
performance as a simian-like creature who is jealous of his brother and
wants to make it on his own. The question I always have when I see Tatum
in roles like this (just about all of them) is, is he really acting?
This drags on for almost
2 ˝ hours. The only time it captured my interest was for about 15
minutes near the end when it suddenly picked up. But it tarries on for a
while after that to prove that pace is not something anybody involved in
this film cares about.