There are movies that empower and uplift you. Then there are some that just frustrate you. Not in the sense they are confusing in plot or character motivations but rather in the decisions for the script and direction. A Violent Man is a film that suffers right from the start and never recovers. I’m sure any audience will be flabbergasted by it in its entirety. It’s a film that will probably not be seen by many.
The plot centers around a mixed martial arts fighter whose life becomes complicated after a one-night stand with a woman found dead the next day. We follow Ty (Thomas Q. Jones) who has some skills as a fighter but has nothing to show for it professionally. He trains at his gym and is friends with his trainer, Pete (Isaach De Bankole), who speaks with a voice that manages to sound worse than someone with laryngitis. One day, Marco Reign (Chuck Liddell) arrives at said gym with his manager, Ben Green (Bruce Davison), who wants someone to practice with Marco before his big fight. Apparently, Marco’s a well-known fighter but somehow, the director didn’t feel the need to show that to the audience. It’s as if we are simply supposed to take the words said from the characters and believe them.
After a sparring match between Ty and Marco, Ty ends up winning the practice fight. He’s elated that he defeated the champion and someone even caught it on film. He’s so impressed with himself that he arranges an interview with a reporter to tell his story to the world. His sheer arrogance and cockiness make his character seem more like an adolescent than that of an adult male who’s thirty-four years old. The reporter, Victoria (Denise Richards), is a joke and is likely the worst representation of any reporter in film history (that covers a lot of movies, by the way). When they meet, she asks vague questions and even offers alcohol during this interview! Speaking of alcohol, there is plenty of it on display, which is interesting. Then, to top it all off, they leave the bar and engage in a one-night stand! This is completely preposterous and blatantly offensive to the field of reporting but then again, this movie doesn’t follow in any sense of reality.
Feeling guilty about what he did, Ty returns home to his girlfriend, Whitney (Khalilah Joi), and acts as if nothing happened. The next day, we find the reporter was strangled to death and Ty is the first suspect. The detectives are not in the least bit realistic. Their lines are delivered by actors who look bored and just like Ty, they are cocky. He must have done it, no bother investigating for clues or interviewing other suspects. They’ve just given up! They are laughable at best. A Violent Man seems to focus on the murder aspect but forgets about it halfway through the movie, switching direction when Ty is offered the opportunity to fight Marco officially, which he accepts! I guess he forgets he is a suspected murderer!
Verdict 0 out of 5
Co-writer and Director, Matthew Berkowitz, made a movie that is visually cool but empty in everything else. There’s a heavy focus on sex and violence which turned me off because I wanted to see more of the investigating portions. Every actor in this movie seems lost and confused. It’s not their fault given that they have a horrendous script to work with.
A Violent Man concludes with a laughable and highly predictable scenario. The fight between Marco and Ty features no audience in attendance whatsoever despite being a pay-per-view event! How could the filmmakers mess that up!? The script is horribly written, the actors deserve better, and Matthew Berkowitz needs to learn that style over substance doesn’t make for interesting material. Too much red light in the apartment and an aggravating musical piece in almost every scene combine to form a film that doesn’t add up to very much other than being an agonizing spectacle to sit through. There isn’t anything to like in A Violent Man.