In 1964, a brash new pro boxer, fresh from his Olympic gold medal victory, explodes on to the scene, Cassius Clay. Bold and outspoken, he cuts an entirely new image for African Americans in sport with his proud public self confidence with his unapologetic belief that he is the greatest boxer of all time. To his credit, he sets out to prove that with his highly agile and forceful style soon making him a formidable boxer who soon claims the heavyweight championship. His personal life is no less noteworthy with his allegiance to the Nation of Islam, his friendship with the controversial Malcolm X and his abandonment of his slave name in favor of Muhammad Ali stirring up controversy. Yet, at the top of his game, both Ali's personal and professional lives face the ultimate test with the military draft rules are changed, making him eligible for military induction during the Vietnam War. Despite the fact that he could easily agree to a sweetheart deal that would have meant an easy tour of ...Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In the opening credits, as the main title fades away the A of Ali lasts a little longer than the other two letters. See more »
A Director's Cut was released on DVD in North America on June 1st, 2004. The runtime of the film is approximately 8 minutes longer at around 165 minutes, but the changes are more significant than it seems: Director Michael Mann deleted about 5 minutes of footage and put 14 minutes of new material in. See more »
"Ali", a movie about Muhammed Ali, regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time had all the potential for being a great movie. Ali has always been bigger than life...loved by the people...loved by the media for his blatant arrogance...loved by many women...his life alone would have supplied any movie with enough material to make it a 'good' movie at the very least. The problem with "Ali" is that the story jumped from one portion of his life to another, the transition wasn't smooth...it was more erratic than anything else. Will Smith's portrayal of the "living legend" was good, but definitely not "Oscar" material, like some critics would suggest. There were a few times where he seemed uneasy, almost nervous, and there were scenes where the other "supporting" characters would take over the scene (Don King for example). Jon Voight's portrayal of the venerable Howard Cossell was surprisingly good and right on the money. Other cast members like Jamie Foxx who played Drew 'Brundini' Brown (one of Ali's trainers) was equally impressive, he surely made the most of his supporting role and displayed his versatility since he's always been cast in a comedy. The movie overall lacked cohesiveness, I did like Michael Mann's camera work...the constant movement of the camera in most scenes depicted the turmoil, confusion..and it mirrored the political upheaval of the 60's. It would have been nice if the movie started with his gold medal win in the 1960 Olympic games...which would have set the tone for the whole movie. And for all the 'Rocky' fans out there, the boxing scenes were a little played out...it almost looked boring....since most of us are used to the 'Rocky' style of movie boxing. Overall, Smith played Ali well...but his lack of versatility and the erratic transition of the story was the movie's downfall.
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