Resurrecting the Champ | Chicago Reader

Resurrecting the Champ

Treacle takes over in the last act, but most of this fact-based story by screenwriters Michael Bortman and Allison Burnett takes the inspirational sports drama into unexpected and morally complex territory. After a string of dubious projects (Wicker Park, Lucky Number Slevin, The Black Dahlia), Josh Hartnett really connects with the role of a dull-witted but grandly ambitious Denver Post reporter who hits on a great story when he crosses paths with a foggy homeless man (Samuel L. Jackson) who claims he's fearsome heavyweight boxer Bob Satterfield. For the first time Rod Lurie directs someone else's script, but it's one that recalls the ethical twists and turns of his best feature, The Contender. With David Paymer and Alan Alda, both excellent. PG-13, 111 min.

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