Short Takes: “Champs”

By aspiring to do too much, Champs delivers more of a glancing blow than a KO.


Champs

BERT MARCUS PRODUCTIONS

Champs doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. Is it a paean to boxing mythology that relies on celebrity fans (Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, 50 Cent, and Mary J. Blige) to sing its praises? Is it a memoir of three iconic heavyweights: Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, and Bernard Hopkins? Is it a sociological take on inner-city America and the criminal-justice system? Or, most interestingly, is it a stinging indictment of the sport’s inadequate regulations—of predatory managers, brain trauma, and more—that led one journo to call boxing “laissez-faire capitalism run amok”? By aspiring to do too much, Champs delivers more of a glancing blow than a KO.