Play It to the Bone
- No Rating Available
Cesar and Vince are both has-been or never-were professional boxers. They're also best friends and sparring partners. They get an offer of a lifetime: to be the warm-up fight for a Mike Tyson spectacular. Not only will they get to fight before a TV audience estimated in the tens of millions, but the winner of the bout will get a chance to try for the middleweight title.
There's a catch, though. They must get from Los Angeles to Las Vegas by 6 p.m. that evening for the fight. Do they catch a plane? Of course not—there'd be no story otherwise. They convince Grace, who happens to be an ex-girlfriend to both of them, to drive them to Vegas. All sorts of misadventures happen along the way.
Positive Elements: None. Zero. Zilch. Zippo. Nada.
Spiritual Content: Vince is into "the Jesus thing" and sometimes has "visions" of Jesus, such as in a parking lot and in the boxing ring. He reprimands anyone who uses the Lord's name in vain, and immediately prays for forgiveness when he does so himself. He then turns around and denounces Christianity as a religion of hypocrites. "Jesus was too good for the church," he says. "He was an anarchist. The first thing he'll do when he returns is torch the Vatican." But speaking of hypocrites, Vince has no problem with general swearing and vulgarity and engages in fornication with abandon.
Sexual Content: The road-trippers pick up a promiscuous hitchhiker, Lia, who tells the two men that she's eager to have sex with either or both. Vince takes her up on it behind a country gas station. Explicit sex shown, with no nudity, but it's doubly offensive because the soundtrack plays the gospel song "I Must Tell Jesus" while they're doing it. Cesar admits that he experimented with homosexuality "for just a year," but much crude language and joking ensues as a result of that admission. The term "fag" is used frequently. One boxer is shown in bed with prostitutes. Topless females parade around the boxing ring between rounds. Rear male nudity is shown in a locker room.
Violent Content: Extreme boxing violence throughout, with close-ups featuring split lips and battered eyes. Bloody sputum sprays across the ring. Blood flows down one boxer's face to his chest. Grace decks Lia with a sucker punch. Boxing promoter Hank Goody propositions Grace who slaps him across the face. He punches her in return.
Crude or Profane Language: Almost constant use of the f-word, with numerous instances of general crudities. Frequent taking of the Lord's name in vain.
Drug and Alcohol Content: Las Vegas party features people drinking alcohol and smoking.
Other Negative Elements: Gambling is shown as glamorous, although Vince and Cesar blow all their meager winnings at the roulette table.
Summary: It is hard to describe how offensive this film is. And once again Hollywood has taken a promising idea and buried it beneath a ton of muck. Think of what could have been explored with the premise of this movie: greed, ambition, loyalty, friendship, betrayal, courage. Marlon Brando did it better in another boxing movie, On the Waterfront. Come to think of it, maybe this movie should have been called At the Sewage Plant. Stay far away from the stench.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Antonio Banderas as Cesar Dominguez; Woody Harrelson as Vince Boudreau; Lolita Davidovich as Grace Pasic; Lucy Liu as Lia; Tom Sizemore as Joe Domino; Robert Wagner as Hank Goody
Ron Shelton ( )