"TYSON" a Movie Review by Ricky Ray Taylor

Ricky Ray TaylorContributor IApril 13, 2009

"TYSON" - the movie - a REVIEW by Ricky Ray Taylor

(*as originally posted on www.BraggingRightsCorner.com)

A few days ago I had the privileged opportunity to sit through a PREVIEW of James Toback's new soon-to-be-released documentary entitled, "TYSON".
Through "TYSONS" 90 minute run-time I sat quietly, both perplexed and befuddled at how the most BRUTAL Boxer of my lifetime - a man whose mere presence in the ring would wreak FEAR from mandatory opponents - could have allowed LIFE to humble him. 
My date at the viewing (who knows absolutely nothing about Boxing OR Iron Mike) walked out of the theatre actually thinking he was sweet.  ....WHAT?!??
Have I seen average folk been beaten down by life into a defenseless shell before?  Yes.
Did I think it would ever happen to IRON MIKE TYSON?  No.  Never.
The film begins and is continuously interwoven with Iron Mike reciting (perhaps his own?) writings of poetic reflections.  THIS in itself was a bit harrowing in a chaotic sense.  He narrates the entire documentary from the position as if he were looking back.  In so doing, the underlying suggestion to HIS viewing audience is "don't you see where I'm coming from?". 
Initially, an old-time Boxing enthusiast like myself can't help but snicker at Iron Mikes MEEK & UNASSUMING posture.  "Please", I kept saying, "this guys gonna SNAP at any moment!"
I kept waiting.  
In the early part of the film he got choked up when talking about Cus & even seemed to mellow more when expressing his love for his wife and kids.
He unfolds the years of his life like a person who's given up.  If anyone sits down expecting to see a semblance or even a reflection of the LION who whupped up on Mitch Green in a bar fight - this isn't the film for you.  

Mike Tyson is subtle in "TYSON".  Throughout, the viewer is washed with the understanding that IRON Mike is just ...tired of FIGHTING people; and more than anything - READY to "invite" them inside. 
From his prostitute mother, to his failed marriage to Robin Givens, to his time in prison for rape (& his EXTREME THOUGHTS about it), to his life-long breathing problems and down to his (understandable?) rationale behind BITING OFF Holyfields ear - one cannot help but feel that IRON MIKE TYSON is more innocent than guilty ... of anything.  
Although a few critics sitting nearby were unimpressed with the film when it ended, I liked it.  My date was so impressed with "TYSON" that she said she wanted to find IRON MIKE and give him a big kiss on his cheek.  (WHAT?!???)

~Ricky Ray Taylor / www.BoxerDRILLZ.com / 917-758-0058