Cinema: Short Takes: The Boxer

What If Rocky Fought All the I.R.A. Bad Guys?

A critic of mild demeanor (aren't we all?) sat in a screening room, sucking on a Ricola as he watched The Boxer, with Daniel Day-Lewis as Danny Flynn, a Belfast prize fighter unjustly jailed on a bombing rap, and Emily Watson as the girl he left behind. The critic dutifully tabulated each blunt plot point, each refried cliche ("I'm not a killer, Maggie, but this place makes me want to kill"). And yet, when Danny's nemesis did something monstrously rotten, the critic was so enraged by the dastardly act that he had to stop himself from spitting his candy at the...

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