Film Review


Tyson, is James Toback’s magnum opus. The screenwriter of the Barry Levinson’s 90’s gangster drama, Bugsy, revives himself in this freewheeling documentary about the life of a heavyweight champion.

Everyone thinks they know the story behind Mike Tyson; a thug who just happened to get his way into boxing, have a high-profile marriage (and consequently, divorce), go ballistic against Evander Holyfield’s ear, and go bankrupt. While all of those things may be true, Tyson, a simple a man as he is, has a much more complex story.

Growing up in a hard-nosed area of Brooklyn, New York, Tyson was constantly bullied for the way he talked and the way he dressed. Suppressing his want for recourse, Tyson never fought until a fated day when the teasing became tangible, which lef to his first fight, and his first victory. Tyson was in and out of juvenile detention centers for the next couple years of his life, and by the time he was 13 had been arrested 38 times.

The first half of Toback’s documentary is portraying the bond between Tyson and his trainer, Cus D’Amato. This is a very surreal and grounded perspective of how Tyson can be human. Tyson was brought to tears a couple of times throughout the film, and mostly when discussing his trainer, and how important D’Amato was to Tyson’s life.

This is a great documentary, and ranks up there with last year’s Man on Wire and 2003’s Capturing the Friedmans as one of the best ever made. Definitely See this film.



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