Blow-by-blow account of Duran's life
HANDS OF STONE (R21)
Drama / 111 minutes / Opens today
HANDS Of Stone examines the life of boxer Roberto Duran.
The Panamanian boxer (Edgar Ramirez) comes up from the streets with two boots on his neck: one belonging to the Marines, who oversee the American-owned Canal Zone, and the other to poverty.
But he is a slugger in every sense of the word, with a hunger that would see him take the world championship title from Sugar Ray Leonard (singer-turned-actor Usher Raymond), with the help of respected coach Ray Arcel (Robert de Niro).
Writer-director Jonathan Jakubowicz drives home the point that the chip on the shoulder that made Duran great also made him a horrible human being - in other words, the Raging Bull (1980) theory of success which, not coincidentally, starred de Niro.
Besides making Duran look like an off-brand Jake LaMotta (the subject of Raging Bull), this film suffers from this-and-that-ism, when biopics include events for their own sake, without thought of narrative relevance.