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The Opponent
The Opponent
Actors: Erika Eleniak, James Colby, Aunjanue Ellis, John Doman, Harry O'Reilly
Director: Eugene Jarecki
Genres: Drama
R     2002     1hr 30min

After years of domestic abuse, Patty (Erika Eleniak), finds an outlet for her anger in the ring of a community boxing club. She's spotted by the club fight promoter Fred (John Doman) and one of his round-club gals, June (A...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Erika Eleniak, James Colby, Aunjanue Ellis, John Doman, Harry O'Reilly
Director: Eugene Jarecki
Creators: Joe di Gennaro, Eugene Jarecki, Simon Barker, Kaluska Poventud, Paige Simpson
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Drama
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/29/2002
Original Release Date: 01/01/2001
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2001
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Thinking outside the box
David Lee | Austin, TX USA | 05/08/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Before I first saw this movie I was expecting a Lifetime channel movie
of the week, but it turned out to be a little better than that. In fact
I thought it had a hint of independent movieness about it or it could have
been the small budget. Maybe it was both. Kind of a quiet movie, small
cast, and urban Detroit setting. Erika portrays a woman, Patty, caught
up in an abusive relationship and struggles to find her way out of it.
Hooking up with a Tommy, a would-be amateur boxer who also runs a boxing
gym, Patty asks him to help train her. Her reasoning? Maybe to take out
her frustrations over being defenseless and punched out by her boyfriend
or to somehow seek her own independence. Patty's boxing interest takes
off and although becomes a novelty at first, through the magic of
film she ends up in the championship bout of the year.The chemistry between the Tommy and Patty was nice and restrained at first
to allow the plot to unfold before the fireworks go off between them. James
Colby was a good find for this movie and thought he had boxing and all the
mythology about it at the right temperature for this movie which wasn't about
boxing in my opinion. Not about what they could get out of boxing, but what
boxing would make of them - stronger in life inside and outside the ring
hopefully. Peripheral characters include the opportunistic boxing promoter, a sympathetic
girlfriend and the desperate loser boyfriend all of whom put in good performances in their roles. I like that Erika tried to pick an atypical movie project that stretches her
talent and this one does it. Never would have expected her to portray a reasonable
fascimile of a boxer, but she does pull it off. She looks really cut in this
movie and although a lot of the boxing was sloppy and wild, in the climatic
Rocky fight against a really buff opponent (professional maybe?) she looked
like she had done some good training for this movie. Only nit-picky thing I
had was I wished they hadn't beauty groomed her to be so good looking in this
movie (maybe it's just her natural beauty and she can't help it!), but a
dress-down like Cameron Diaz in "Being John Malkovich" where she was so grungy
and unrecognizable would have made the character more sympathetic and empowering
when she succeeds. And the most important thing - was there nudity? Well...
if I had directed there would have been the quintessential shower scene, but alas
they didn't ask me. She does have a brief nude scene from the side in a love
scene with James Colby where I was still wowed with her hot bod.
Not much stuff on the dvd except audio setup and chapter selections, actor
commentary or making of the movie would have been nice to see though. Another good
Erika movie to see is A Pyromanic's Love Story with a strong performances by
John Leguizamo and Sadie Frost."
This is another "Knockout" movie....
Reginald M. Lumagui | San Jose, CA USA | 08/03/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)

" in similar to the movie "Knockout" and not really a great boxing movie. It's more of a cute girl doing boxing. Erika Eleniak looks to be in great shape for the movie. It's too bad the script is really boring that you can't get more into it. Even with Erika in great shape, she's no boxer which becomes quite apparent during her training and fight sequences. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. As always, they choose a real female boxer as an opponent but don't spend enough time training the star to complement the adversary. About the only good refreshing thing about this movie was the coach and his gym. It was interesting to see a young coach and his bviews about boxing and training. Don't know if that's enough to carry this movie for some. It wasn't for me. Nope, definitely can't recommend this movie unless it goes to deep discount, and you're just bored at 12 AM."
Dreary, pointless little film
Michael A. Newman | 06/19/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I purchased this film because of the misleading cover art. I mean, it stars former Baywatch babe Erika Eleniak, and she's lookin' pretty hot and (...)on the cover. The scene depicted is actually in the movie - for about 5 seconds. It's part of a montage. Whoever did the wardrobe for this movie apparently went to the local Goodwill and cleaned out the "free" bin. Eleniak wears crummy looking sweats throughout the movie, about as far from (...)as they could make her. Thanks moviemakers - thanks for the intentionally deceptive cover.If you're thinking this is like a female Rocky movie, forget it. It would be like Rocky if Rocky didn't have the climactic fight at the end, but instead he just walked up to Apollo Creed and smarted off to him, and then the credits rolled.Even as a Lifetime movie of the week, this thing is weak. It's more like a Lifetime afternoon movie, broadcast shortly after lunch, on a Tuesday. The characters just aren't the least bit developed. They act like 99% of irresponsible teenagers would act if put in the same situations, but these people are adults, which makes them come off as a bunch of losers. Eleniak is in what we're supposed to assume is an abusive relationship, but instead of getting a job and getting her own place, she gets a hobby. She makes a new friend, and uses her place as a crash pad when she doesn't feel like going home. Although her friend is really the only likable character in the film, the whole friendship goes nowhere and really serves no purpose except to pad out the screen time. She's also got a boxing coach, and his gym is going bankrupt. He could save it with his new Baywatch boxer, but he screws that up. Loser. Eleniak gets it on with him, and we get a montage that encompasses her entire amateur boxing career. One is left with the impression that she's about ready for her second amateur fight, but instead she's turning pro. So much for this being a boxing movie. So much for it being a romantic movie, because that goes absolutely nowhere. So much for it being a drama, because it ends just when one would think the last act should be starting.Just a dreary and dull little waste. It can't decide what it wants to be, so it apportions equal time to each subplot. Sort of a little bit of everything and not much of anything. It's not Eleniak's fault - this script is hopeless and the director was utterly clueless."
Better than most low budget films
Michael A. Newman | New Hyde Park, NY | 11/24/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"You can see that this film was made with a bare-minimum budget but it is entertaining nonetheless. A physically abused woman tries to avoid her "loseeeer" boyfriend and ends up on the street with no place to go. A boxing promoter and another woman feel sorry for her situation and offer her $50 to look "pretty" and hold up round cards at a local boxing tournament.

After the tournament, the three go to a bar but the woman gets bored and leaves asking the promoter's chauffer to take her home. The chauffer was one of the fighters at the tournament and she strikes up a conversation with him and learns that he teaches some kids how to box when he is not driving.

With all the anger in her because of her boyfriend, she shows up at the boxer's gym asking for lessons. He finally agrees and the woman is determined to learn how to fight to get back at her boyfriend. Anger is her inspiration and allows her to get through the vigorous training.

Through sheer luck she is able to win her first match and also to stand up to her ex-boyfriend. Obviously a romance develops between her and her boxing coach, which later impedes on their professional relationship.

If you take the movie for what it is you will be surprised at what the director was able to do on so limited a budget. I give it a little bit better than 3 stars."