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Thursday 8 December 2016

Wrestling drama's a dark knockout

drama

FIRST OFF, don't rent out Foxcatcher if you're impressing a new date, or are just feeling a bit down.

With a bleak world view, dark cinematography and a depressing whimper of a climax, this is tough going at times.

Aside from a slowness of pace in the final quarter, Foxcatcher is a gripping movie. It's the story of wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum). Despite being an Olympic champion, he's forever in the shadow of his older brother, fellow wrestling champ David (Mark Ruffalo).

David has the loving wife and lovely kids, Mark comes across as a lonely figure who's a bit lost after coming down from Olympic glory.

In steps mega-rich John du Pont (Steve Carrell), who wants to build a "Foxcatcher" team, based around Mark, at his mansion.

What seems like a match made in heaven becomes a living hell. You see, du Pont is a few sambos short of a picnic, and his fascination with wrestling will have tragic consequences for all.

The earlier scenes are the best - including a shocking one where Mark is introduced by his wealthy sponsor to cocaine - and goes on a downward spiral. If you know the story, you'll know what to expect with the brutal finale, which is a bit of damp squib, ending all too savagely and quickly.

One thing is sure though: you'll never look at Steve Carrell in the same way after his menacing turn as the rich, but unhinged, du Pont.

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