There is nothing quite like sports for creating magical moments, whether that is the underdog overcoming the established champion as we saw in “Rocky” or a team rebuilding against the odds as in “Friday Night Lights.”
We’ve looked through the 00s to pick out three classics which are worth watching again, even if you have seen them before.
Million Dollar Baby
“Rocky” was in a league of its own in the 80s and ever since then, there have been far too many boxing films to remember, many of which have been disappointing. “Million Dollar Baby” does not fall into that category.
Unlike the vast majority of previous boxing films, “Million Dollar Baby” follows the path of a female boxer in a sport.
The popularity of women’s boxing is showing consistent growth. Katie Taylor is a fine example of that. The Irish boxer, who won the WBO light-welterweight title last year, is one of the biggest names in the sport and is headlining arenas.
In “Million Dollar Baby,” aspiring boxer Maggie Fitzgerald gets the help of Frankie Dunn (played by Clint Eastwood) to help her break into the sport. The relationship and bond the pair build with their shared vision is really heart-warming. Naturally, there are a few bumps along the way as most athletes find.
It’s an excellent watch and a film you definitely won’t feel has tried to replicate what Rocky did in the 80s.
As you could probably guess, “Wimbledon” is a film which is based on a tennis player who is preparing to win the famous Grand Slam tournament in London. There does need to be a full disclaimer here, that if romcoms are not your thing, this is probably not for you.
The main character in this film has been losing his way in the sport, dropping from 11th in the world rankings to 119th. He eventually bumps into a rising female star who helps him recapture his form on the court.
The story is quite believable as we have seen so many magical moments at Wimbledon. Just three years ago, Roger Federer prevailed on the grass for a record eighth time at the age of 35, despite being written off by many pundits. The Swiss should return to SW19 again next year, where he is 9/1 in the latest tennis odds to lift the trophy for the ninth time. More success from the greatest the game has seen should not be ruled out.
You don’t need to be a big tennis fan to enjoy this movie so this is one to stick on next time you are looking for a film to enjoy with your partner.
“The Wrestler” is not just one of the best sports films of the 2000s; you can make a strong argument for it being an all-time classic.
In the film, we follow a faded professional wrestler, Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson, in his struggles inside and outside the ring. It is impossible not to have sympathy for The Ram as the film exposes how difficult it can be for ageing athletes in combat sports.
Comebacks are very common inside the ring. Just this year, Mike Tyson announced he is returning to boxing. Although in most cases it is ill-advised to step back between the ropes at that age, Randy shows why former sports stars miss the adrenaline rush they used to get from competing.
You are likely to laugh, cry and watch certain scenes from between your fingers in this excellent storytelling drama which did very well at the box office.
Enjoy all three of the above films. It will be no surprise if you become so engrossed in the stories, you will forget they are fictional at times.