Thursday, July 17, 2014

Documentary Review: The Good Son: The Life Of Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini

Available For Streaming On
Netflix As Of 7/17/14
I've had The Good Son on my Netflix watch list for about a month. I was looking forward to it. So today I took time and watched it from start to finish.
Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini is a former boxer who captured the nation because of his meager upbringing, and his ability to win fights. Actually his father Lenny "Boom Boom" Mancini was a boxer as well. Lenny was just about to make a major name for himself when he got drafted. He ended up getting the purple heart during WW II for a battle injury. Although he recovered and came home and was able to fight again.. he was never the same and retired.

But his son, Ray, was poised to take over boxing as the next big thing. And he did just that. In 1982 he won Lightweight Title and became a world champion in the WBA.

But upon his first defense of the title he fought Duk Koo Kim. He battered Kim for 14 rounds before he KO'd him. Unfortunately Duk Koo Kim suffered brain damage during the fight and as a result he died 4 days later.

This documentary is a narrative of Mancini's life and how he never fully recovered from the emotional trauma of killing a man in the ring.

The documentary is a little bit on the weak side. It is a tragedy. A son lost his father. However the director leaves us wanting to know more about the actual event.

The finale is a meeting arranged by Duk Koo Kim to meet with Ray Mancini and clear the air of hard feelings. But the meeting lacks a lot. Low on emotion, drama, and compelling scenes. It seems kind of anti-climatic. The language barrier may have been part of the problem.

What The Good Son does have is heart. It turns out that Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini and Duk Koo Kim were kind of cut from the same cloth. They had some striking similarities. In fact, under other circumstances might have been friends.

I also found Ray hard not to like. He was articulate, and kind. His story is compelling. It's just a shame that the documentary left us out of some info that might have drawn us into the story in a deeper way.

I give this documentary.... 2 stars

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