Going into this documentary, I was unaware that it was made by Michael Tucker, whom I interviewed last year for How to Fold a Flag. His documentary last year was worth watching, but this one was even better. Fightville covers the fast growing but still misunderstood sport of mixed martial arts. As a fan of Tucker’s previous war documentaries as well as Brazilian Jujitsu, I thought this film was both interesting and informative as you see the roots of this growing phenomenon up close as well as the training and mentality behind it.
The film is beautifully shot, and that says something for a film with quite a bit of real blood in your face. The directors chose to follow a couple of specific fighters closely, which provides an avenue for emotionally connecting to the topic, but towards the end, I felt like it could have wrapped up a few minutes sooner. I would have preferred more details about the history and specific rules of the sport- maybe some clarification regarding the different forms of MMA-but it wasn’t my movie, and my “all-facts documentary” probably wouldn’t have been as entertaining.
Audiences will take away a new understanding and respect for a commonly misunderstood and prejudged sport. This film is a good choice for MMA fans, sports fans, and documentary fans alike. Keep ‘em coming Michael Tucker; I’m impressed.