Let’s start with the editing. It is literally all over the place, and for the most part, extremely confusing to the viewing audience. The cutting back and forth between the tournament and final scenes with her mother took me completely out of the moment. I wasn’t expecting a full Karate Kid style montage, but the director spent more time building up the goodbye between Nora and her mother than he did actually showing her fighting.
“It will pull you into the characters, and it will have you on the edge of your seat…”
But the reason for these flashbacks was even more upsetting. Basically, these were set-up for what I’m assuming director Bailey Kobe thought was suppose to be a clever twist. I won’t get into what that is for the sake of spoilers, but I will say that it entirely missed its mark. In the end, I believe it definitely hurts everything that was built up in the first two acts of the movie. What should have been a great “underdog overcoming great odds story,” instead turned into something a freshman who watched too many David Fincher films as a teenager, would have written his first year of film school.
Is this movie worth watching?
Overall… maybe. This movie has some very good things going for it. It will pull you into the characters, and it will have you on the edge of your seat in some scenes. Another thing this movie gets right is the choreography. The fight coordinators should be given “mad props” (as the kids say) for the accuracy and believability of the move-sets. But at the end of the day, Million Dollar Baby or Girlfight, it is not! This movie is an unfortunate example of what happens when a filmmaker tries to do too many things to make a film seem more thought-provoking than it is.
"…this movie has all the makings of a solid fight film."