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Hands of Stone Review - Miami New Times

MNT: Robert De Niro — the Raging Bull himself, now aged from boxer to trainer — is introduced in Hands of Stone bathed in Madison Square Garden’s overhead spotlights, more the image of a reigning champ than the promising fighter whose American debut his character Ray Arcel has come to see. It’s impossible to follow the actual trajectory of the choppily edited fight, so it’s only clear just how impressive Roberto Durán (Edgar Ramírez) is supposed to be from the look on De Niro’s face. For every punch thrown, there’s a reaction shot: a quizzical eyebrow raise, a cocked head left or right. It’s like watching De Niro get his eyes checked; you can practically see the optometrist behind the camera, asking him to follow a finger. This sequence is immediately followed by a post-fight locker-room scene in which Durán chows down on all 31 flavors of Baskin-Robbins, a moment of product placement that's too blatant and too early, setting the amateur-hour tone for this biopic of the Panamanian fighter.

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