It all started with an intriguing opening act following a gifted old trainer as he loses his latest prize boxer to a competing coach and continued to go up hill in capturing my attention. He is soon joined by a very driven capable young woman who picks him to be the trainer, against his will, and begins to shock everyone. Sure she's old in comparison to boxing standards, but her lack of age is a driving force Frankie Dunn (played by Clint Eastwood) uses to push her beyond her existing skills to continue to win fight after fight. She shows great honor by buying her ungrateful mother and sister a house to live in before spending the money on herself, she continues to work as a waitress when she doesn't need to for the money anymore, and she wins the heart of Frankie as he continues to miss his daughter. We never find out what really happened in his relationship with his daughter, but Maggie (played by Hillary Swank) helps him to have hope again. I wish the story just kept going on its built momentum, but it crashes coming to a full stop and reversing the character's amazing personalities with one incident. What a bunch of crap.
After Maggie's incident she lies paralyzed in a bed from the neck down. Day after day goes by and we begin to understand that there is nothing that can be done to help her in this situation. She's going to live paralyzed in that state of paralysis forever.
What happens to this woman who defied all odds and became one of the greatest women boxers in the world? She gives up. Really?!! What was the author of this story thinking? You show us a person who goes from nothing to gold and she wants to kill herself by chewing on her tongue instead of struggling to continue to make a difference in the world? Wrong.
The picture of this young woman was all wrong in the end. I think the writer is an idiot for painting a picture of a person so honorable, so gifted, so driven from the bottom of the pits and then to say that once this driven, gifted, honorable person is paralyzed....they want to die. Why were they driven in the beginning? Wouldn't that drive still be in her very being? Here the writer fills her mouth with words of incremental putrid. He has her telling us, the audience, that she was able to be the best and hear cheering for her name, but now life is not worth living because she can't go on without it. Dumb, dumb, dumb. That is not who she was. She was honorable, not conceited. She was self driven, not hopeless.
In short, I loved the story, but I hate the ending. They changed her character into someone that was not her because of an incident. People do change sometimes after going through deep sorrow and pain, but she was still a winner. She had Frankie at her side, she had money to pay for her life, and she had hope for things better. But we're led to believe that she must have been driven to be egotistical in the end and that after all, it was just for the few cheers of the audience that she was living. She was a waitress!!! She didn't hang on the praises of others for 30 years of her life and now we're supposed to believe that's how she feels now?
The movie ends hopelessly as she dies (or rather is killed by choice) and Frankie disappears to a diner. What was the message of this stupid ending? Are we praising Dr. Kevorkian? Are we saying that life isn't worth living unless you are mobile and have all of your appendages working? Are we saying that the goal of life is to live for the praise and claps of the audience? If it is not one of these undoubtedly stupid choices then I don't know what it is.
Clint and Morgan, how the heck is it possible to buy into this stupid movie? Couldn't you read the ending of the script and think to yourself...oh wow, this really is a pile of steaming turd, and hand the script back to whence it came? Sadly they didn't and they polluted the atmosphere with a moronic ending that seemed to search after destroying hope in life and pointing us in the direction of worshiping the praises of others over life itself.
I give it 2 out of 5 stars. The 2 are for how amazing the movie is, but then unconvincingly crushes all hope through Maggie's death.