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Redbelt

Where to Watch Redbelt

R
2008

Redbelt is an intense and engaging martial arts drama released in 2008, directed by David Mamet and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tim Allen, and Emily Mortimer. This film marries the world of high-stakes combat sports with the intrigue of Hollywood storytelling, presenting a complex plot that tugs at the essence of honor, manipulation and the human spirit.

Chiwetel Ejiofor, known for his riveting performances, plays the lead role of Mike Terry, a jiu-jitsu master with a small self-defense studio in Los Angeles. Mike carries with him a deep-seated belief in martial arts as an avenue for personal growth and integrity, rather than a sport or spectacle intended for profit. This belief shapes and dictates his interactions with his students, the law enforcement officers whom he trains, and the world at large.

The movie introduces us to Mike's compelling philosophy about martial arts, where he proposes that "There is no situation, in the world of combat, that you cannot escape from. You can always protect yourself.” His life takes an unexpected turn when Laura Black, played by Emily Mortimer, a troubled lawyer with a haunted past, enters his studio. The string of events triggered by this encounter unnervingly spirals, entangling Mike in a world he has tried to avoid.

Equipped with a small studio and a big dream, Mike's business struggles to stay afloat. Yet he continuously refuses to compromise his principles, rebuffing his wife Sondra's attempts, portrayed by Alice Braga, to lever connections with her brother’s high-profile fight league. Mike’s belief that competition weakens fighters and that it fosters a commercial spectacle that's against the spirit of martial arts keeps him from joining the profitable professional fighting league.

However, Mike's path crosses with faded action star Chet Frank, a well-depicted character by Tim Allen who has a splendid take on a character outside his usual comedic space. The encounter leads to a whirlwind of events that promises Mike an escape from his financial struggles. He gets a taste of the glitzy, glamorous world of show business while retaining his traditional philosophy, or so he believes.

David Mamet, known for his clever, dialogue-heavy drama, slightly deviates from form, putting a larger emphasis on physicality. He shifts gears admirably by challenging his verbose style in Redbelt, letting the powerful visuals of combat do the talking. The fight scenes appear to have been crafted, not just as simple physical brawls, but as expressions of the inner turmoils of the characters and their respective journeys.

Fans of Chiwetel Ejiofor would get to see his extensive range as an actor in this film. He successfully embodies the honor-bound Mike, showcasing a blend of restrained power, resilience, and deep-rooted dignity that resonates with the audience. With every action and reticent dialogue, Ejiofor brings life to the character, wearing conviction on his face, and strength in his demeanor, embodying the spirit of a true warrior.

Tim Allen in his serious laid-back role plays the washed-up movie star perfectly. His character Chet Frank brings an interesting facet to the story, putting forward a stark contrast – the flashy, shallow realm of Hollywood versus the grounded, honor-bound world of martial arts.

Emily Mortimer's portrayal of the tormented lawyer is commendable. With her nuanced performance, she perfectly captures the essence of her character's fears and vulnerabilities, contributing significantly to the emotional richness of the plot. Her unexpected acquaintance with Mike Terry sets in motion a sequence of events that build to a thrilling climax.

Alice Braga completes the skilled ensemble by being a suitable counterpart to Ejiofor's Mike Terry, as she tries to balance her husband's crushing financial reality with his deep-seated martial philosophy.

Redbelt heaves under the weight of honor, right and wrong, greed and glamour, delivering a compelling drama set against the backdrop of mixed martial arts. It successfully combines a profound narrative with adrenaline-fueled action sequences making it a must-watch for fans of the genre. The journey of Mike Terry in this world of glitz, glamour, and superficiality questions the true cost of integrity and the value one assigns to their principles.

Redbelt is a Drama movie released in 2008. It has a runtime of 99 min. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.7. It also holds a MetaScore of 69.

How to Watch Redbelt

Where can I stream Redbelt movie online? Redbelt is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Pluto TV, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Redbelt for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

6.7/10
69/100
Director
David Mamet
Stars
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tim Allen, Emily Mortimer, Alice Braga, Rodrigo Santoro, Joe Mantegna, Rebecca Pidgeon, Ricky Jay, Randy Couture
Genres
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