I’d like to start this review by pointing to the great craftsmanship in this film. Sometimes it even feels slightly overproduced. For example, a street sign in a part of town that is supposed to be downtrodden looks like it was just created and polished in the prop shop. But in general the film is well made and impressive from a technical point of view. It’s a big movie for a big guy.
However, it’s not a great movie. There is just so much about George Foreman. His will and his achievements are almost incomprehensible. How could you focus on just one aspect, one moment? To the detriment of the story, the filmmakers didn’t even try. Alternately, let’s look at the 2018 Ruth Bader Ginsburg film, On the Basis of Sex (I break down how the film works in the penultimate paragraph of this essay, Power). It didn’t focus on her illustrious career. It honed in on her very first case. It was so effective in that telling, that we could understand her thought process and extrapolate from there. If given this situation, RBG is going to handle it like this. This is what she’s like.
In Big George, we come to similar epiphanies but go on an epic roller coaster ride. During the end credits we are told that the George Forman® Grill rights were sold by George for 137 million dollars. The grill was only mentioned once, in passing, during the entire movie. That story alone could have taken an hour and a half to tell. Maybe it’ll be the sequel? To be fair, there were a lot of interesting things I didn’t know. How Forman won the Olympic Gold Medal in ’68. How Foreman became world champ not once, but twice…20 years apart! And a lot about his deep faith and how he came to it. Over the course of his life, George Foreman’s spirituality and intellect rose to match his raw power and athletic talent.
This is an epic film. It’s a long film and it feels that way…but I still enjoyed it. As D pointed out, it plays more like a filmed graphic novel. I rejoined that if it were a Bob Ross painting, it would be painted using only his famously wide two inch brush. To quote the most prolific painter the world has ever known, “There are no mistakes. Just happy accidents.” Big George Foreman does have a lot of heart and gives you plenty to think about. It’s a good movie that’s worth watching.