Boxing is not for the squeamish. And if you’ve ever seen Mike Tyson at his peak in the ring — like the vicious 1986 beat-down of Trevor Berbick that opens James Toback’s documentary — you don’t know whether to avert your eyes or move in closer to watch the wreckage. The same goes for Iron Mike’s life outside of the ring (most notably his 1992 rape conviction). In this stylishly edited confessional, Tyson comes across as both villain and victim, pussycat and pitbull. He speaks with his soft lisp directly to the camera about his childhood fears, triumphs, and errors in judgment. Is the director in his corner? Absolutely. But that doesn’t make Tyson any less of a knockout. The EXTRAS probably give you more of the always chatty Toback than you want. He’s a heavyweight champ in the ego department. B+
Genre: Documentary; Starring: Mike Tyson; Director: James Toback; Author: James Toback; Runtime (in minutes): 88; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Posted August 12 2009 — 12:00 AM EDT
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