Cinema: Film Review: An Epic Light on Its Feet

At the height of his 1960s troubles, when as a conscientious objector he has refused induction into the Army, when he's been stripped of his title and not allowed to fight, someone asks Muhammad Ali if he even knows where Vietnam is. Sure, he replies. "It's on TV."

It is a cosmic moment in Ali, Michael Mann's sober and often stirring film biography, a perfect representation of the instinctive, almost visionary, shrewdness that lay beneath Ali's doggerel-spewing, hyperkinetic image. Bloodied and staggering under the blows of coarsely baying public opinion, he understood before most of us did that it was...

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