Will Smith, Jon Voight, Mario Van Peebles, Jamie Foxx, Ron Silver, Jada Pinkett Smith
Widescreen; closed caption; English, French audio tracks; Spanish, French, English subtitles; theatrical trailer.
|An elaborately mounted but somewhat unsatisfying depiction of boxer and statesman Muhammad Ali's life, with a buffed, glib Will Smith ("Men in Black") in the title role. With too much life to cover, director Michael Mann ("The Insider") positions his biopic in the middle. It starts with Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, preparing for his first championship match against Sonny Liston. It ends with Ali, who has converted to Islam, fighting George Foreman in Zaire to regain a title stripped from Ali for refusing induction into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. We get dramatizations of his rising fame, his significant bouts, his embrace of the Black Muslim movement and his relationships with controversial religious leader Malcolm X (an impressive Mario Van Peebles) and bombastic TV sportscaster Howard Cosell (Jon Voight, heavily made-up). But Ali's youth, his wives, his Olympic career, his retirement and his greatest challenge, his battle with Parkinson's disease, are shortchanged.|