Fighting parents guide

Fighting Parent Guide

Rather than focusing solely on brawls, moviemakers attempt to round out the story. But apparently, in this world of thieves, there is no point "Fighting" against the inevitable.

Overall D+

Shawn McArthur (Channing Tatum) is struggling to stay alive in New York City, until his involvement in an ugly brawl catches the attention of Harvey Boarden (Terrance Howard). Recognizing a good contender when he sees one, Harvey introduces Shawn to the sport of illegal street fighting. It's a chance to earn some big money --but participating doesn't come without a price.

Release date April 24, 2009

Violence C-
Sexual Content B-
Profanity C-
Substance Use C

Why is Fighting rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Fighting PG-13 for intense fight sequences, some sexuality and brief strong language.

Run Time: 105 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

It’s tough not to like Shawn MacArthur (Channing Tatum). In addition to his boyish good looks, he is a young man who still stands when women enter a room, treats the elderly with respect and is trying to stay out of trouble. He’s also attempting to make a little money hawking books in the downtown. Unfortunately, his positive attributes don’t bode well for him in a city full of criminals and con men.

Among those shady swindlers is Harvey Boarden (Terrence Howard), a two-bit hustler whose approach to business bears a remarkable resemblance to the classic crime boss Fagin in literature’s Oliver Twist. In addition to his petty scam operations, Harvey is looking for a street fighter to throw into New York’s underground entertainment industry where wealthy gamblers bet cash on something supposedly more sophisticated than cockfights. Parading their “stock” around the street before pitting them against each other in back alleys, palatial penthouses or church halls, agents like Harvey hope to make money on the “winner takes all, no holds barred” matches.

After Shawn has his wares and cash stolen by Harvey’s hired urchins, he is desperate for money. That, combined with the fact that he is good with his fists, makes him finally agree to Harvey’s offer for employment.

But, like the teen flick Never Back Down, these exhibitions are pure slugfests. In one scene, a man is forcibly pushed into a wall where he smashes his skull on a ceramic drinking fountain before slumping to the ground. Two other characters duke it out in a marble-floored lobby where both fighters repeatedly have their heads and bodies slammed unceremoniously against the unforgiving surface. (I’m not a medical professional but I doubt either one of them would be walking away without severe concussions.) Later, two fighters grapple in a construction site where one man is thrown against a plate glass window again and again. Yet the only injuries portrayed are mild facial abrasions, a few bloody cuts and an ear lobe mangled by a bullet after a disgruntled spectator fires a gun into the crowd of onlookers. Worst of all, it isn’t jeering teens baiting on the combatants but well-heeled, influential adults.

Rather than focusing solely on brawls, moviemakers attempt to round out the story by showing Shawn’s empathetic side. His charitable feelings for a struggling young waitress (Zulay Henao), however, develop into something a little more passionate than com-passionate after he tries to help her with her rent. There are also moments motivated by principles rather than greed.

Nevertheless, in a town where everyone is a hustler, it is almost impossible to keep your nose clean—or at least unbroken. So it is no surprise when even Shawn succumbs to his own kind of illegal racket. Apparently, in this world of thieves, there is no point fighting against the inevitable.

Starring Channing Tatum, Terrence Howard, Luis Guzmán. Running time: 105 minutes. Theatrical release April 24, 2009. Updated

Rating & Content Info

Why is Fighting rated PG-13? Fighting is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense fight sequences, some sexuality and brief strong language.

Fighting After thieves steal items from pedestrians and vendors in a busy downtown business district, a fight breaks out on the street. A man cases out possible recruits for a fight club. Brawls between combatants (without any protective gear or rules) are held in a church, alleys, expensive apartments and an Asian brothel. Characters punch, kick and choke one another. Facial abrasions and some bloody cuts are seen. A bullet injures a man’s ear. Cross dressers are seen in a brothel-type building. A picture of a naked woman is seen on the wall. Profanities, scatological slang terms and racial slurs are used. Characters gamble and steal money. A couple kisses passionately. Sexual activity is suggested but not seen. Characters are shown drinking and smoking on numerous occasions.

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Fighting Parents' Guide

For Shawn, fighting seems like the only way to leave his past behind him. What are the inherent dangers of this kind of plan? Is Harvey only using this young man’s talent?

What impact might a film like this have on teen viewers? What consequences does it fail to show? How does it glamorize this type of behavior?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Fighting movie is August 25, 2009. Here are some details…

Release Date: 25 August 2009

Fighting hits the home video market in a rated (as seen in theaters) and an unrated version.

Fighting on DVD is presented in widescreen and offers audio tracks in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English, French and Spanish). Subtitles are available in English SDH, French and Spanish. Bonus extras include:

- Theatrical version (Runtime: 105 minutes)

- Unrated version (Runtime: 108 minutes)

- Deleted Scenes

Fighting on Blu-ray Disc is also presented in widescreen. Audio tracks are available in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English) and DTS Surround 5.1 (French and Spanish). Subtitles are provided in English SDH, French and Spanish. Additional materials include:

- Theatrical version (Runtime: 105 minutes)

- Unrated version (Runtime: 108 minutes)

- Deleted Scenes

- BD Live - Download Center

- D-Box Motion Control

- Digital Copy of Fighting (unrated version)

Related home video titles:

Channing Tatum plays another down-and-out character that uses dancing to help him Step Up. He also stars as a basketball player who gets locked out of the gym because of his grades in Coach Carter. Like Harvey Boarden, boxing agent Jon Gould believes in keeping up appearances and being ready for business in Cinderella Man.