Tyson (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: B+
It's a widely accepted theory that Mike Tyson is one of two or three greatest boxers to ever live. I remember being a kid and watching him fight on TV and thinking that he was unstoppable. Of course as I and Tyson got older I found out that not only was he stoppable, but he stopped himself. I became less and less of a fan of his. But what this documentary, by director James Tobak, did was show exactly what it would be like if you were a trusted friend of Mike Tyson's and he invited you into his home and told you his life story as honestly as he could. I guess in a lot of ways, that's what a true documentary is suppose to be. But this movie doesn't cover one man's life really but covers one man talking about his life. Tyson, who doesn't stop talking through the entire film, doesn't spare us any major milestone. He talks about growing up in Brooklyn as a little criminal, his climb to fame, his scandalous marriage, his horrible money management, and even why he bit off Holyfield's ear during a fight. He talks about his rape conviction, to which he still insists that he's innocent of and does a good job of convincing you of that. Even though he was found guilty, it makes you wonder why a guy who's being so honest that he would admit to his STDs he's caught, would still lie about committing a crime he already served jailtime for. What was one of the most insightful moments was watching him talk about his first coach, Cus D'Amato. This is a man who saved him from the ghetto and a life of crime and was the only father he ever had. Tyson breaks down and cries while talking about him and you get the feeling that you're watching a rare sight of a dangerous wild animal be tender to its young. You feel for Tyson at the same you feel uneasy around him. The movie isn't made for fans nor does it attempt to make you a fan. It just is what it is...and so is Tyson. It's a portrait of a complex, scary, frightened and insecure man who shares in his own words every win and every loss...and what happened inside the ring as well. It's sad, tragic, scary and inspiring, which mirrors the man himself I feel after watching it.