2019-10-18 02:49 KST  
  RSS
Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening?
JapanFocus
Mike Tyson Explains Himself
Documentary 'Tyson' sharpens focus
Brian Orndorf (briano)     Print Article 
Published 2009-04-24 11:10 (KST)   
©2009 Sony Pictures
Love him or hate him, Mike Tyson is a frighteningly magnetic figure of intense debate. He's been a hero and a scoundrel, a champion and a convicted felon, yet he's managed to stay in the public eye as one of our more iconic sporting figures since he was a disillusioned teenager taking the boxing world by storm. I wouldn't consider "Tyson" to be a carefully drawn documentary as much as it is a lung-heavy conversation with the superman as he nervously sums up his highs and lows, with director James Toback hoping to provide a lucid explanation of the lifelong inhospitable behavior and unhealthy motivation somewhere along the way.

"Tyson" presents Mike Tyson as he stands today: an unsettled man searching for purpose beyond the shackles of his fame. Patchily photographed and edited to simulate the fragmentation of Tyson's mind, the film allows the former heavyweight champion a forum to air his grievances and own up to his limitations. It's a scattergun approach from Toback, but with Tyson itemizing his behavior over the years, the film is gift-wrapped catnip to fans of the boxer and those who enjoy watching the deconstruction of a life gone horribly awry. Toback does his best to keep the salacious and truly horrific tidbits to a minimum, but with Tyson, a little goes an awfully long way.

  TODAY'S TOP STORIES
OMNI's New Approach to Citizen Journalism
[Opinion] Democracy's Downfall
Technology Can Save Money, Planet
[Opinion] Iran Defends Peaceful 'Right'
Couchsurfing in Gaza
  FROM THE SECTION
'Ballast' Doesn't Point Way
[DVD Review] 'P' Sincere But Ponderous
Julie & Julia
'Precious' Chronicles Abuse Society Misses
'Fantastic Mr. Fox' Learns Value Of Family, Community
"Tyson" is broken down to four major events: his youth under the intense tutelage of beloved trainer Cus D'Amato; his ascension to boxing royalty, mowing down opponents with his stunning skill and animal fixation on victory; the 1991 altercation with Desiree Washington (Tyson refers to her as a "wretched swine of a woman"), which lead to a rape conviction and three year prison sentence; and the eventual downward spiral from boxing and the spotlight, hastened by the legendary 1997 ear-biting Evander Holyfield match. Toback raises the questions of Robin Givens, Don King (a "wretched, slimy, reptilian" promoter who allegedly stole most of the fighter's fortune), and Tyson's voracious appetite for women as well, leaving the feature more encompassing than expected, especially with Tyson himself credited as one of the producers. Toback might not be here to nail the champ to the cross, but he's not skipping critical dirty laundry that should rightfully be aired.

The feature is sympathetic to Tyson, but not always forgiving. Holding tight on the boxer as he rifles through the events of his life, it's a comfort to watch the verbose athlete own up to the damage he's inflicted and shocking to see him casually dodge larger errors in judgment, blaming a difficult childhood, drugs, and cruel managerial manipulation for his brutal ways. Tyson isn't here to apologize, but his odd indifference to instances of infidelity and casual beatings come across as particularly strange. Hey, if I were Toback, I wouldn't exactly be poking this guy with a stick either, but the ultimate purpose of "Tyson" is a budding mystery that's never quite solved.

Apparently semi-clear of his once formidable manic depressive haze, Mike Tyson is now a filled-out 42, facially tattooed, and finished with boxing after a marvelous career of iron-fisted dominance the sport will perhaps never see again. "Tyson" monitors a man struggling with his bruised memories, regretful but also slightly unrepentant, taking daily comfort in his six children and a fascination with pigeons. "Tyson" isn't a warts and all dissection of a living legend, but with Mike Tyson and his glaring, guarded nature, a partly open doorway to the soul is all one can reasonably expect, resulting in a pleasantly informative feature film, but one that's never truly, dynamically revelatory.

B

Related Articles
'Obsessed' Stalks Nonsense
Beware the 'Ghosts of Girlfriends Past'
The 'Battle for Terra' Begins
Wolverine Has Returned
Go Boldly With 'Star Trek'
Did 'Donnie Darko' Need a Sequel?
Tom Hanks Battles the 'Angels & Demons'
' Sin Nombre ' Stuns



©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Brian Orndorf

Add to :  Add to Del.icio.usDel.icio.us |  Add to Digg this Digg  |  Add to reddit reddit |  Add to Y! MyWeb Y! MyWeb

Ronda Hauben
 
Netizens Question Cause of Cheonan Tragedy
Michael Werbowski
 
[Opinion] Democracy's Downfall
Michael Solis
 
Arizona's Immigration Bill and Korea
Yehonathan Tommer
 
Assassination in Dubai
[ESL/EFL Podcast] Saying No
Seventeenth in a series of English language lessons from Jennifer Lebedev...
  [ESL/EFL] Talking About Change
  [ESL/ EFL Podcast] Personal Finances
  [ESL/EFL] Buying and Selling
How worried are you about the H1N1 influenza virus?
  Very worried
  Somewhat worried
  Not yet
  Not at all
    * Vote to see the result.   
KOREA WORLD SCI&TECH ART&LIFE ENTERTAINMENT SPORTS GLOBAL WATCH INTERVIEWS PODCASTS
  copyright 1999 - 2019 ohmynews all rights reserved. internews@ohmynews.com Tel:+82-2-733-5505,5595(ext.125) Fax:+82-2-733-5011,5077