Directed by James Toback
Release date: April 24, 2009 (Limited)
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Mike Tyson, at the age of twenty, is the youngest Heavy Weight champion who can reign for a long, long time.”
How grand it must be to be recognized by millions of people on a national level. But the highest of highs and the lowest of lows that life hurls at us so unexpectedly can also double as a great mystery. It is almost like Mike Tyson‘s philosophy on money: “I either have a ton of money or no money,” he winces into the camera with painful eyes. “I’m not an in-betweener. I’m a kind of extremist.” He is also an extremist in being prone to severe incongruity; his need to be associated with pain and remorse, and his struggling desire to part from it, makes Tyson, a man who experienced the highest of highs, a fascinating subject matter.
Tyson, a new documentary by director James Toback (who is a close friend of Tyson), is not exclusively an esoteric view of the chaotic life of the loose-cannon boxer. Toback, along with Tyson’s eagerness to be open, creates a sensitive documentary that can also work as a chart for depicting the highs and lows a professional career can present. At one moment the man is fully rich and renowned around the world and before you can even detect a fierce right hand coming at you he is down on his luck, a shrinking and coiled up man who was once an erected iconic image. The power of this documentary is that anybody who has found themselves in a deep and lonely hole can relate to the fight that’s needed to break out and escape from it.
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