Where the early fights seem to come and go, the climatic finale more than makes up for this in a well dramatized tale of boxing champion Jem Belcher.
Written by Elliot Lines / July 19, 2022
Prizefighter, also known as Prizefighter: The Life of Jem Belcher, tells a Rocky like story of a young mans rise and fall from fame in the boxing world.
Set in the 19th century, the scene is a little different from 70's Philadelphia. The setting adds to the grit and determination Jem Belcher (Matt Hookings) has to get to where he wants to be, champion of England. Pushed from the start by his grandfather Jack Slack (Russell Crowe), Belcher falls into the hands of boxing coach Bill Warr (Ray Winstone) who ultimately leads him to the top of boxing in this time.
The story portrays Belchers life in a way that shows us what happens to a man when the fame goes to is head. He becomes comfortable in this new found fame, but unfortunately this gets ripped out from beneath him after and unfortunate accident, taking us on a journey of recovery and self discovery of who Jem really is.
It'll satisfy its target audience, and landing in the laps of boxing fans is ultimately where it will end up. But, Prizefighter tells a different kind of boxing story, set in a different era, with recognisable stars and goes out with a blockbuster ending.