It’s hard to go wrong with a good fight movie. I can’t think of even one of my friends who hasn’t seen Rocky III or Blood Sport at least 5 or 6 times. And with the recent success of Creed, the latest chapter of the Rocky saga, it’s evident that the movie-going audience will still fill seats to watch an underdog scrap their way to the top of the hill to beat the unbeatable champion.
Now, with the gender gap narrowing, we are seeing more and more women getting the spotlight in sports, especially in MMA (mixed martial arts). Though female fighters are still not quite making as much financially as their male counterparts, they are now starting to headline pay-per-views and larger tournaments. So it’s only natural that Hollywood wants to cash in on this. So now, throwing its hat into the ring is director Bailey Kobe’s Rag Doll.
“…she decides it is her time to finally ‘put up or shut up’ and prove she belongs in the ring…”
Rag Doll follows Nora (Shannon Murray), a young woman who dreams of fighting professionally but has to deal with a lot of drama in her everyday life. Nora’s mother (Stephanie Erb) is dying of cancer, she is in a financially desperate situation, and has a job where she is constantly harassed and bullied. On top of all of this, she’s dealing with romantic feelings for her training partner, Aisha (Roxana Sanchez), a protege fighter who everyone is looking towards winning a title.
Nora’s life takes a major turn when she decides it is her time to finally “put up or shut up” and prove she belongs in the ring with likes of Aisha and enter’s a major tournament for female fighters. But for all her talents, she can’t escape the troubles that dog her mentally and emotionally.
From a plot standpoint, Ragdoll has all the makings of a solid fight film. A complex heroine to root for with real motivation for her actions, interesting supporting characters, and a solid story arc. But, and this is a BIG BUT, where the film falls short is the final twenty minutes.
"…this movie has all the makings of a solid fight film."