Red Belt (2008)

Dir. David Mamet

I don’t think I can recommend this strongly to any of the idiots. Of course, fans of Mamet should probably see this. This is one of those films that could improve in my mind as I think about it more.

The film is about a ju-jitsu (Brazilian style) instructor, Mike Terry (Chiwetel Ojiofor) and the challenges he faces running a school. The plot also involves drawing him in–a renown fighter–into a tournament. Even though there are some fight scenes, there probably isn’t enough to please action fans. (Larri did not really care for it.)

One of the best ideas in the film was this idea of the way someone with integrity and focus can overcome those who are deceiptful and cunning. Terry is so pure he’s naive, but the film says that doesn’t matter. His purity allows he to evade and prevail over those more cunning than he is. That’s an interesting twist on Mamet’s interest of the con. As Terry says, “There’s always an escape.” Mamet may be saying the way out of con is to have integrity. That doesn’t sound quite like what the film is saying, but I like the flavor of that anyone.

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