He's the flashiest, wildest, richest, most outspoken promoter the boxing world has ever known. He's the Reverend Fred Sultan, and when the sport's popularity wanes, he comes up with a heavyweight plan to turn things around.
"I can't understand Leonard Maltin's lack of enthusiasm for this movie, which features what may be the best work yet from Samuel Jackson and Jeff Goldblum. The writers, obviously inspired by the Tyson-McNeeley fight, offer us the anti-Rocky, the story of a nobody pitted against the world boxing champion, and the crafty promoter who tries to con the public into believing the outcome is in doubt and buying tickets to see them fight. This film did badly at the box office and caught me a little off guard the first time I saw it because it is so completely cynical, every character is a fraud. But once you realize there are no heroes in this story and accept that it is hilarious. Every time I see it the film gets funnier. The writers might want to do a sequel about women boxers. As women's boxing websites and newspaper coverage make clear, in women's boxing horrible mismatches in which an unprepared gal is fed to an experienced pro in the ring just to fill a fight card are commonplace and a continuing scandal."
A very dark comedy for those who enjoy political wit
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was one of the 3 or so people who actually saw this film in the theatre and I enjoy it more every time I see it. It's an excellent, funny, satirical look into the world of professional boxing where athletes, who risk their physical health and financial future, are treated like commodities for the gain of promoters, who risk nothing and always get the big payoff. The flamboyant promoter (Samuel L. Jackson) deftly uses white America's obsession/anger with African-American dominance in sports to produce a payday as the media plays a willing pawn in the game. All of the performances in this movie are excellent but Peter Berg deserves a special mention."
D. GERALD | 06/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Okay the DVD itself isn't so great with only minimal features but why I give this 4 stars is because I waited FOREVER for this thing to finally be released. It is one of my all-time favorite comedies and I laugh so much everytime I see it. It is about time that this was finally released and I say it rules!"
One of the most underrated sports films ever
A. Rozsa | 03/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The amazon.com review for this film includes the line "While sharp and funny, it's never quite clear what the point of it all is." If this is all a GREAT WHITE HYPE viewer gets out of this movie, i'm afraid he/she just wasn't paying attention. While providing a nice satirical look at egomaniacal athletes and hustling boxing promoters (Sam Jackson is as brilliantly watchable as always here) throughout, the movie is all about how hype can make a non-event an event and the film's last ten minutes is the key. What, you were expecting a ROCKY denouement? In the end, this movie shows how sports fans -- and the entertainment-junkie public in general -- can be manipulated by loudness and money. Combined with Shelton's ever-sharp and fearless takes on America's racial tension (also see the brilliant WHITE MEN CAN'T JUMP), THE GREAT WHITE HYPE is well worth a watch. And a think thereafter."
Not for everybody
D. GERALD | 12/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've noticed that the only people who love this movie as much as I do are boxing fans. If you're a boxing fan then you're going to get all the little inside jokes about the sport that boxing fans can't miss. I think the movie more of a spoof on the Holmes-Cooney fight in 1982 than anything else. Yes the jokes are racial, but boxing is a racist sport. Not that anybody is discriminated against but boxing fans tend to support their own and this movie pokes fun at that. Lighten up people and enjoy the laughs"