by:  Jack Bratcher

Well, I finally got to see REDBELT, the new feature film written and directed by David Mamet starring some of the biggest names in Mixed Martial Arts.  Mamet produced the TV show, The Unit.  He also wrote Hoffa, Hannibal and innumerable other films.  Some of the most recognizable MMA personalities in Redbelt were Randy Couture, Mike Goldberg, Frank Trigg, and Scott Farrell, with Randy having by far the largest role.

The movie was well made, very well produced and had tons of potential.  For the most part it had all the right actors and had seemingly everything going for it.  The storyline was even showing some promise up to a point but then things fell apart.  I’m not going to spoil the storyline for those who haven’t seen it but suffice it to say it gets rather ridiculous and the worst part of all is the ending.  They possibly could have saved this drowning flick if they could have wrapped it up in the ending.  Instead, they finish it off with a scene so unbelieveable that it is just plain laughable.  I was left thinking, “what in the hell was that?”

MMA fans will still get a kick out of seeing Randy Couture and other recognizable faces.  Most people can probably even get into the story for a little while.  In fact, the story may work better for people who have no knowledge at all of MMA.  However, if you are a Mixed Martial Arts fan expecting a great action flick with exciting fight scenes and a realistic look into the world of Professional Fighting, this is NOT the movie.  It is about as far as you can get from that.  Instead, what REDBELT gives us is a Drama that attempts to tackle such human issues as honor, greed, and betrayal.  Aside from the Martial Arts angle and looking at this movie purely from an overall theatrical experience, I can only admire this movie for what it could have been and for its potential.  In the end, I’m glad I didn’t go to the theatre to see this and therefore, I rate this movie regrettably with a D.

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