Friday, August 26, 2016

Hands of Stone Movie Review

Robert De Niro and Édgar Ramírez (r) star in Hands of Stone

It's All in the Head

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: Hands of Stone follows the life of Roberto Durán (Édgar Ramírez) the Panamanian fighter who made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16-year-old and retired in 2002 at the age of 50. In June 1980, he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond) to capture the WBC welterweight title, but shocked the boxing world by returning to his corner in their November rematch, famously saying the words "no mas" (no more.) Directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz.

De Niro's Ray Arcel declares, "In 66 seconds, Roberto Durán changed my life." Hands of Stone isn't the best boxing movie ever made; but it's easy to follow, on par with last year's Creed and way better than Southpaw. Positives include Ramírez, who's sensational as Durán (charismatic, raw) gorgeous Ana de Armas as his wife Felicidad, and David Arosemena as young Roberto. It excels out of the ring, especially in Panama... which makes it easier to forgive a few shortcomings (ho-hum boxing sequences, lack of drama and Robb Skyler as Howard Cosell.) Thankfully/wisely short too (only 105 minutes.)

Grade: B-