Big George Foreman

Directed by: George Tillman Jr.
Distributed by: Affirm Films

Written by Taylor Baker

15/100

Director George Tillman Jr. who audiences may know best from his Cuba Gooding Jr. picture “Men of Honor” helms this Affirm Films production (Sony’s Christian film distribution arm) that bears an uncanny resemblance to a biopic without any of the heart or blood that’s made the genre into a perennial mainstay for over a hundred years with entries like 2022’s “Elvis” and 1906’s “The Story of the Kelly Gang.” The film is like a speed round of paint-by-numbers that drags on and on while skipping over its most interesting portions, often beginning character development on those around the central figure of Foreman without ever actually maturing them. In fact, Foreman’s real journey as a fighter is inconsequential to the filmmakers’ vision, they run through his early years and his early fight career as quickly as they can until Foreman finds faith in god and by then it’s too late to win the audience back.

While the film originally titled “Big George Foreman: The Miraculous Story of the Once and Future Heavyweight Champion of the World” until mere weeks before its release is entirely bad, the performers who depict Foreman are not. With largely empty but fine supporting turns by Forest Whitaker, John Magaro, and Sullivan Jones it’s clear that the issues with “Big George Foreman” originated on the page long before craftsmen and performers were brought in. Painfully staid and emotionally manipulative, the film is little more than a macho Hallmark film with a religious bent so trite and amateurish that it seems almost unreal.

“Big George Foreman” Trailer

You can follow more of Taylor’s thoughts on film on LetterboxdTwitter, and Rotten Tomatoes.

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