I don't have all the words right now but this film is a work of art.
Best movie ever!
The first must-see film of the year.
It's a feast for the eyes. But what really makes this dramedy work is the acting.
That's one of the best boxing movies made since several décades, since RAGING BUILL actually. At least for my taste. Performances are awesome and characters depiction too. But there is a scene I don't understand. After Duran shouted after his guests around his swimming pool, you see one of these guests in a street restaurant, grabbing some fodd from a tourist plate, run away and then being hit by a car whilst he escapes...
Why this scene? Which link with the story? This character was no more than a simple extra...
No one seems to have noticed this strange line in the film.
In 1971, manager Carlos Eleta (Rubén Blades) introduces his fighter Roberto Durán (Edgar Ramírez) to legendary trainer Ray Arcel (Robert De Niro). The anti-American Durán rejects Arcel at first. He grew up hating America over the Panama canal and being abandoned by his American soldier father. Plomo is his street level trainer and Chaflan is his outlandish friend. He chases after beautiful Felicidad Iglesias (Ana de Armas) and marries her. Arcel had been forced to retire by mobster Frankie Carbo (John Turturro) and is longtime married to Stephanie (Ellen Barkin). Durán's nemesis becomes American darling Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond). He gets Sugar Ray by insulting his wife Juanita (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) before the first fight. However, he is out of shape for the second fight which ends in "No más".This is no jab at De Niro but the movie would be fine with less Arcel. This must be Durán's movie and it must be about "No más". We're given a formulaic portrait of a brash, arrogant, troubled Durán. Most of Arcel's story could be cut out. "No más" remains a mystery. He does give an explanation to his wife but continues to have conflicting narrative. This needs a tighter script which could zoom in on the most important aspect of Durán's journey.
The legendary Roberto Duran and his equally legendary trainer Ray Arcel change each other's lives. Hands of Stone suffers from a poor storyline and a leading actor who just doesn't have enough charisma to hold the movie together as for Robert De Niro who plays his trainer he is alright but not even he can't save this film it's boring, lousy and unoriginal this is also a genre that the audience has seen so much and honestly they have got tired of and so have i you simply can't make another Rocky Saga or even a Raging Bull you just can't i was expecting a great film but i was very disappointed and that's why i'm gonna give Hands of Stone an 4/10
I love boxing films and even more so when the film is based on a true story in which the director portrays the sports hero(s) experiencing every day peoples' lows and highs that we should be able to relate to. Within the first 15 minutes of the film I was captivated with Roberto Duran, the child, the man, and ultimately the boxer with unlimited talent and an insatiable hunger to win a boxing world championship.The three main characters in the film are the Panama born boxer Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez), his world class trainer Ray Arcel (Robert De Niro) and Duran's main contender in his way for a world championship Sugar Ray Leonard (singer Usher Raymond).It is near impossible to capture such a boxing legend whose professional career spanned over five decades, 119 fights, 103 wins, of which 70 of those wins were by knockouts and then attempt to describe in any real level of detail of this mans true history in less than two hours of screen time. So for any of those other critical reviews that stated Hands of Stone just wasn't a box office success I say who cares? What matters is this film portrays a young Panamanian boy whose early life was filled with resentment for Americans who kept his people behind a wall in their own country, an American man who is his father and then deserted Roberto's young mother leaving her to raise her children alone. Roberto Duran's documented resentment for the country U.S.A. and its citizens may not sit well with many American movie viewers which may account for lower than expected turnouts at the box office but his story is real, and a difficult one. He had a very hard life growing up in Panama, and so boxing was his ticket out. Duran feared no one, and by the time he entered the ring as a lightweight in June 1972 to fight Ken Buchanan, his destiny was about to come true. The film indicated that there was some controversy over Duran potentially hitting Buchanan below his belt line, but as there was controversy that followed Duran throughout his 33 year fighting career in and out of the ring Duran became a world champion, won and lost over the decades to follow.Robert De Niro who played the famous boxing trainer Ray Arcel allowed actor Edgar Ramirez to be the screens main focus so I give kudos to the mega star for accepting his supporting actor role as a mentor to Duran continually explaining to Roberto Duran that he had all the god given talent required, he just had to convince himself in his own mind that he was unbeatable. Obviously De Niro had a positive affect on Edgar Ramirez's screen performance as I for one, believed these two were the real fighter and trainer.As for the actual in ring fights between Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez) and Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond) I have seen better fight sequences such as in the classic Oscar winning Raging Bull and the Rocky film compilations, so I was glad more time was spent outlining the man Roberto Duran outside of the ring, rather than with trying to emulate Duran's fighting technique.Additional good performances were displayed by Ruben Blades who played Duran's wealthy boxing agent Carlos Eleta, and minor but important roles by John Turturro playing New York boxing kingpin Frankie Carbo, Ellen Barkin who played Stephanie Arcel and Reg E. Cathey as bigger than life boxing promoter Don King.On a personal note the naked love scenes in this film took away from the films intention as a sports biography film and I believe if they had edited these gratuitous scenes out I am quite sure there was sufficient material more relevant to Duran's history that was left behind on the cutting room floor that would have added greater value than a bit of T&A.Overall the performances by Edgar Ramirez, Robert De Niro and Usher Raymond were top notch. I recommend Hands Of Stone for not only boxing fans, but fans of films that display poverty stricken characters rising to fame and fortune, and doing well by their rewards by sharing their fortunes with the less fortunate as Roberto Duran, world champion, has accomplished throughout his life.Scoring a 9 out of 10 rating. CHAMPIONS ALL!!