Based on the incredible true story of one of boxing’s most charismatic and colorful figures, BLEED FOR THIS centers around Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza (Miles Teller), a local Providence kid who shot to stardom as a 2-time world champ. Then, at the top of his game, a near-fatal accident left him with the news that he would never walk again. After months of recovery and against doctors’ orders, Vinny returned to the gym under the watch of infamous trainer, Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart), and made a triumphant return to the ring just over a year later.
What We Thought:
They say Bleed For This is based on the real life story of Vinny Pazienza. I say it’s very loosely based. I understand you take liberties in a biopic, but man is there a lot wrong with this story compared to the truth.
Vinny Paz was a champion boxer who got into a car accident and was told he might never walk again. Not only did he walk, he got back in the ring and fought for many years afterwards. That’s true. But the movie makes it seem like it was only six months and that he fought Roberto Duran for the championship right after.
That’s not true. He fought Duran, but not right away. It was also a lot longer than six months between his accident and getting back in the ring. It was over a year and he fought Luis Santana first. I understand you have to Hollywood-ize your story to make it more dramatic, but that’s not the only issue I have with the film.
Miles Teller as Vinny Paz says let’s go to Foxwoods instead of Atlantic City like his friend suggests the night of his accident. That’s another issue. Foxwoods didn’t have table games till 1992. His accident was November 1991. They also have a scene of Vinny Paz going to Twin Rivers to play blackjack. Back in the 1990’s it was called Lincoln Park and was a dog track. Twin Rivers has only been a casino for a few years now.
They also make it seem like Vinny Paz didn’t drink or do drugs. Maybe it was after his career, but I know he’s had alcohol problems that have gotten him arrested.
Sure most people won’t know that or even pick up on it, but those really stood out to me. Teller is fine as The Pazmanian Devil even if he’s way too tall. Aaron Eckhart is good as well. Katey Sagal is underused and they really wanted his family to be as memorable as the sisters in The Fighter (they aren’t).
If you don’t know anything about Vinny Pazienza you might like Bleed For This. I love boxing movies, but I can’t see myself watching this again. The story of Vinny Paz is remarkable, it’s just a shame they over sold it in the movie.
Cast & Crew:
- Miles Teller
- Aaron Eckhart
- Katey Sagal