The Boxer (1997)

Though not particularly engaging as either a sports film or an IRA 
drama, THE BOXER *does* boast a great love story.  Daniel Day-Lewis 
and Emily Watson (BREAKING THE WAVES) play Danny and Maggie, former  
teen lovers rekindling their romance almost a decade-and-a-half 
after Danny was sent up the river for IRA activities.  He's out of 
prison, but not out of hot water.  Seems Maggie's now a prisoner's 
wife, having married another IRA lad in the interim.  And she's not 
supposed to date-- no prisoner's wife is.  (They risk broken knee-
caps, among other forms of societal scorn.)  Now, for Maggie, the 
situation is even *more* dicey, 'cause her dad (Brian Cox) is an 
IRA bigwig.  He's trying to negotiate a cease-fire that not every-
one in his Belfast group is supporting, so he can't afford even the 
*appearance* of impropriety.  He's also observed that Danny has 
gone the way of the pacifist, forgoing his IRA ties in favor of a 
more localized goal:  renovating the community center into a sports 
gym.  Got it?  

Yeah, there's lots going on here-- arguably too much for this third 
collaboration between Daniel Day-Lewis and director Jim Sheridan 
(IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, MY LEFT FOOT).  Neither the sports 
stuff nor the IRA in-fighting ends up particularly affecting, but 
it does keep your brain busy.  (Do *all* Brits watch fights as if 
in a dinner-theater, with no shouting or yelling?  Or just the 
upper-crust?)  The romance is right there, though, thanks to two 
well-paired actors and enough obstacles in their characters' paths 
to ensure that tears will flow, no matter which way the story goes.  
Bring a hankie.  (Rated "R"/108 min.)
Grade: B-

Copyright 1998 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: January 11, 1998

Home   |   Recommended   |   Reviews   |   Views   |   Letters   |   Links   |   FAQ   |   Search!

Please report problems to
Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros