January 23, 2009  |  Film


Mike Tyson: War & Peace…

Predictably, the flick garnering outright adoration and even a standing ovation at its first screening at this week’s SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL is the gripping “Tyson” documentary by director and miraculous Tyson wrangler JAMES TOBACK. Told entirely in the lisping voice of the former champ in footage culled from countless hours of interviews, the father of six recounts his rise and fall, from early days being bullied as a fat kid (“It was kill or be killed”), and being forced to defend himself in juvenile detention at age 12, to his training with legendary Cus D’Amato (“I knew all the skullduggery … most of these guys lost the fight before it even started”), to his days as world heavyweight champ (“Once I get in the ring, I’m a god”), and ultimately, his grisly public fall from grace (“I lost the desire to be a champion”) including a prison term and the infamous ear biting incident. Along the way, it’s revealed, Tyson squandered almost $400 million and lost nearly everything he’d ever earned, physically and emotionally. Toback has known the boxer since 1985 and was able to capture a raw and previously unseen look at the fighter. In Tyson’s words, “Jim, he just elicited all this stuff out of me, I don’t know how he did it.” Far from glossing over the fighter’s problems and controversial missteps, Toback’s subject instead offers a shockingly open assessment of his tumultuous life, verbally beating himself into a corner again and again. The film is slated for commercial release on April 24. Read more HERE.

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