Friday, September 25, 2009


Sit down.
Are you there?
Because I have an announcement:

Mike Tyson is going to melt your cold, dark heart.

Don’t believe me? Then sit through this new documentary, Tyson. I promise you that you’ll find your heart filling with gooey Mike Tyson mush.

Mike Tyson isn’t easy to love – for most of my life I considered him just one step above a housetrained animal. After all, this was boxing’s bad boy who attacked his opponents with brutal ferocity, bit his rivals and raped women on the side. The Tyson documentary is a chance to look behind the headlines and understand what fueled Mike to make the choices he did.

He is so incredibly candid, humble and reflective in this documentary that you can’t help but find yourself in his proverbial corner. In talking about the tabloid frenzy that was his marriage to Robin Givens, Tyson sagely reminds us that in the end, they were just kids who didn’t have any business being married so young (age 20!).

Consisting only of direct interviews with Tyson and intermixed with photos and footage of his career, Tyson traces his blazing rise and furious descent from fame and glory. And I mean nothing is held back. He speaks about his personal life and his professional life with complete candor. All the machismo and charisma is stripped away and he doesn’t shy away from any subject, even coming to tears a few times and discussing the inherent fear that drove him to many of his bad decisions. And dare I say it; he speaks with great intelligence and even eloquence at points.

Although, I did do a double-take at one point when discussing his alleged rape of Desiree Washington (which he still denies), Mike said something to the effect of, “I’m not saying I never took advantage of other women, but I did not take advantage of her.”

Head whip…
Did he just admit that he raped other women? Or maybe he just like drank milk out of their refrigerators while they were sleeping?


In the end, I walked away feeling like Mike Tyson The Famous Boxer is now Mike Tyson The Very Humbled and Damaged Person. I for one am rooting for a second chance.

1 comment:

Tim Laubacher said...

I haven't seen "Tyson" yet, but I'll be sure to check it out.

Another boxing-related documentary worth your time is "Assault in the Ring." I caught this film on HBO while on vacation and couldn't turn it off. There are no superstars like Mike Tyson, but following the life of Luis Resto is very chilling and emotional.