Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: None listed
ORLANDO Bloom may be well on the way to Hollywood super-stardom,
thanks to impressive turns in the Lord
of the Rings trilogy and Pirates
of the Caribbean, but he suffers a heavy blow in his latest
- a particularly wretched boxing comedy, that is likely to leave
viewers feeling punch-drunk and sick.
The Calcium Kid was actually filmed before Pirates of the Caribbean,
and is designed as a mock-umentary about a milkman, come boxer,
who unexpectedly lands a world title shot, despite never having
boxed a competitive match.
Yet the film runs out of energy in round one, and becomes a testing
experience for all but the most die-hard of Blooms fans.
To be fair to the actor, he is the most appealing thing about
the film, as his unlikely hero, Jimmy Connelly, is quite an endearing
character, but had it been released prior to Blooms success
in bigger projects, it is doubtful whether he would be considered
leading man material.
But then first-time feature director, Alex De Rakoff, provides
little assistance, over-populating his film with genuinely disaffecting
characters, and failing to strike a balance between what he wants
from the overall experience.
The mock-umentary aspects of the film pale by comparison to the
more polished likes of Best in Show or A
Mighty Wind, while the uneven tone, which flits between comedy
and violence, constantly undermines the flow of the film, to the
extent that youre not really sure what youre watching.
There are elements of Rocky (emphasised by the use of that films
theme music), as well as British gangster flicks, such as Lock,
Stock, during the films ridiculous finale, but all of it
fails to gel, and while there is a certain curiosity value in
seeing how the ill-prepared Connelly will compete against World
Champion boxer, Jose Mendez, the story is told in such a way that
it makes it near-impossible to go the distance.
De Rakoff, who also serves as screenwriter, must shoulder a lot
of the blame, for taking an original screenplay, by Raymond Friel
and Derek Boyle, and turning it into such an unappealing mess.
The story, itself, could have been interesting, but is so badly
handled, that it quickly becomes uninteresting, while the characters
which populate it are terrible.
Omid Djalilis self-obsessed boxing promoter, Herbie Bush,
is indicative of the half-baked performances on show, coming across
as a hopelessly stereotyped version of any sleazy promoter/Arthur
Daly-type, while the likes of Rafe Spall, as Jimmys slobbish
best friend, and David Kelly, as an eccentric old Irish trainer,
simply serve to heighten the nausea value.
The film also marks the big screen debut of former pop star,
Billy Piper, but viewers are asked to believe that Connelly could
fall in love with her purely on the basis of a winning smile and
an overly exposed cleavage; while boxer turned actor, Tamer Hassan,
seems to spend the entire movie thinking he is in a Guy Ritchie
There is not a single redemptive feature about the project, which
ends up as another spectacular misfire for the British film industry.
Blooms reputation probably wont be too battered by
this featherweight nonsense, but he would do well to avoid such
career blows in the future.