Michelle Rodriguez makes her debut in Girlfight, the co-winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Film at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, directed by Karyn Kusama.
It is sad that Rodriguez went from a good picture like this, turning in a wonderful performance, to something as dumb as The Fast and the Furious, but at least she has one good picture under her belt. She is strong, believable, and most of all, entertaining to watch. As you watch the movie, you can believe that she is turning into a boxer.
As far as the movie goes, it has a pretty good script, a decent storyline, and good directing. I like the way Kusama captures Rodriguez's eyes, and I also like the way she captures the fights. The first person perspective is really cool.
On another level, though, I wouldn't say that Girlfight is anything to scream about. It is a well done movie but a lot of it doesn't have anything in the way of new content. It has a romance, it has a character who is going against the odds, and it has a quarrel with a parent; I've seen it before. However, what saves Girlfight is that it doesn't play off any one element too much; it thankfully does not focus too much on the supposed fact that girls can't box guys, and I wouldn't say this movie is a romance, either.
The only real flaw I found with the film was the battle with the father. They way I perceived him was that he was a pretty decent father, yet Rodriguez's character always treats him like crap and she almost kills him at one point. I didn't really understand what was going on, and then the movie just drops the storyline entirely.
Girlfight isn't anything new, but the way it presents everything is quite a bit different from other movies of the genre. If anything, it is worth seeing Michelle Rodriguez make her stunning debut.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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