Fighting Tommy Riley Release Date: 2006 (Italy) Genre: Drama | Sport Director(s): Eddie O’Flaherty Writer(s): J.P Davis Starring: Eddie Jones, J.P. Davis, Christina Chambers J.P. Davis clearly has a brass set of balls, as he decided to pull a Sylvester Stallone on Hollywood when it came to his script for Fighting Tommy Riley. When Stallone […]

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Fighting Tommy Riley
Release Date: 2006 (Italy)
Genre: Drama | Sport
Director(s): Eddie O’Flaherty
Writer(s): J.P Davis
Starring: Eddie Jones, J.P. Davis, Christina Chambers

J.P. Davis clearly has a brass set of balls, as he decided to pull a Sylvester Stallone on Hollywood when it came to his script for Fighting Tommy Riley. When Stallone produced the script for Rocky, he adamantly refused to sell it if he wasn’t guaranteed the lead role. Stallone had been acting in features, one of them being Death Race 2000, for quite a few years before the holdout. J.P Davis did the same thing, but what was his biggest role? A small role in Jim Wynorski’s Curse of the Komodo.

Chances are J.P. Riley won’t be made into a star thanks to Fighting Tommy Riley. It’s not that Riley is a bad movie. It’s just that it’s hardly impressive enough to earn a second glance. If anyone should be getting propped up, it’s Eddie Jones, who gave an applause-worthy performance.

Tommy Riley (Davis) is a down and out boxer who gave up on his ambitions after a disastrous trial for the Olympics years before. After boxing trainer Marty Goldberg (Jones) and his doubtful business partner see the boy in action, Goldberg decides that Tommy is the man he needs to cultivate for success. But as their relationship grows, and Tommy begins to move up the ranks, the audience comes to learn that Goldberg is more than jolly fat guy who quotes Mellville he appears to be. He overeats from depression, abuses sleeping pills, and shockingly to Tommy, appears to be a homosexual. Despite Riley’s realistic and well-acted reaction, the two continue down their road.

Fighting Tommy Riley is definitely not a Rocky rip-off. Tommy Riley never reaches the big time in the film. He may someday, but Fighting Tommy Riley has him fighting handpicked opponents who his trainer believes will “make him look good.” This is a character-driven boxing film, so while the boxing scenes still have emotion, the characters aren’t portrayed as masters of their own domain. Further more, there’s no antagonists other than themselves, which is always refreshing.

Too much of Fighting Tommy Riley seems forced. It tries too hard to be sentimental, and fails to strike chords after Goldberg reveals his long-kept secret.

DVD: Barebones.

To show you just how great Photoshop is, take a look at the original artwork for Fighting Tommy Riley from the producers, and then what Screen Media put out. Sure are some nice abs, huh?

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Fighting Tommy Riley, 6.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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