Bo is a former promising boxer who married his high school sweetheart Kacie. After high school, Bo followed the path of his father, choosing addiction over his marriage, family, and boxing career. After years of bouncing between jobs and towns, he is left with nothing. Kacie has left him, taking the kids, and he has been fired from his most recent employment. Bo’s long time boxing trainer, Sal, informs him that his old high school rival, Dylan (who was also trained by Sal) wants to do one last exhibition fight in their home town as he closes his impressive professional boxing career. Dylan wants to fight Bo one last time as a charity bout for their town. Sal convinces Bo to fight one more time and uses the opportunity to not only train him physically, but to teach him how to fight for what truly matters: his marriage, his family, and his faith. “Fight” is a story of redemption and a challenge for all of us to consider what is worth fighting for.
Shades of Rocky! This movie inspires– but with a different kind of hero. Bo Lawson (nicely played by Travis Hancock) is battling the bottle. Raised by an alcoholic and verbally-abusive father, he is now a father of two, daughter Shannon and son Luke. His wife, Kacie (solidly portrayed by Sarah Cleveland), loves her husband, but she can’t continue to take his excessive drinking, especially when he shows up drunk to their daughter’s baseball game. He begins yelling at the umpire when he calls Shannon out on strikes. “Come on, man!” he yells at the ump. “That’s my baby girl out there. You just sat her down because of that call?!” He continues to heckle the umpire until an officer cuffs him and hauls him off to jail.
After Bo’s released from jail, he continues to drink and fights with his wife at home. There’s a cross outside their home, but Bo tells Kacie, “My father looked for God, but he found the bottle.” When Bo storms out after their fight, Kacie tells the frightened kids that their daddy still loves them. “He’s just having a bit of a rough time,” she says.
He goes to a local convenience store and has the owner “spot” him some credit and he buys more alcohol. The cans pile up in his truck. Soon, he heads over to the local gym, where he used to train as a fighter. He spots his old friend, Sal (portrayed by John French) who tells him that he can’t have his drink in the gym. Bo is also jealous of a rival from high school, Dylan Wright. He obviously has a hard time letting go of some of his past. Sal sends him on his way, and Bo manages to get home and immediately falls asleep on the sofa. The next morning leads to another argument with Kacie and he knocks some photos off the dresser drawer when she declares she is leaving. They are behind on some bills with the water about to be shut off. He declares he can get the money for the bill but she leaves. Later, he pours his heart out to friends and says, “I don’t have to follow her rules anymore.” But he clearly misses her. Sal lets him know that Dylan Wright wants to fight Bo in a charity event and Bo would be paid $5000. Needing the money, and needing something to aim for, he accepts the match.
One of the nice themes of the film is Sal’s reminder to Bo that he has to remember what he’s fighting for in life. In this case, it’s for his family. He starts training Bo and encourages him. Bo gets himself up early to run and to train. Soon, Bo attends AA and winds up with a coin, a medal of sorts, after a month of attending. He is clearly attempting to turn his life around. Sal invites him to church and although he hasn’t gone in years, he attends. Appropriately enough, there is a song during worship about the Lord healing the broken and the hurt.
When Bo runs into Kacie’s friend Tammy at the grocery store, he gives Tammy his AA coin and asks her to give it to Kacie. He also winds up seeing Kacie soon after, when she agrees to meet him for lunch at a local restaurant. He asks her to come back, saying he is changed. She wants to give him a chance but is hesitant. He asks her to show up at the fight.
A very well-conditioned Bo shows up to meet an equally well-conditioned Dylan Wright. In a touching scene, Sal tells Bo he has prayed for him for a while and now wants to pray with him. They pray together and then Bo heads to the ring. He keeps looking for Kacie. Will she show up? The fight is a slugfest with the scales tipping in each fighter’s favor during the five-round championship fight.
The movie has some dramatic moments and makes an impression that the things we sometimes fight for don’t come easily, but they are always worth the fight. The point is made that God doesn’t like to see hurting people– but is ever-present to help. It’s nice to see Bo’s love for his family helping him to overcome his drinking and weaknesses and his new realization that God is always present to help. Though some of the drinking scenes aren’t appropriate for young children, we award this film our Dove-approval for Ages 12+.
The Dove Take:
This inspiring drama offers hope that whatever is important, such as one’s family, is worth fighting for.