Tyson (2009) Review

director: James Toback 

writer: James Toback 

genre: Documentary | Sports

released: April 29, 2009 (U.S.), August 6, 2009 (Australia)

Life can treat us in a odd fashion sometimes. You might get everything you ever wanted and then subsequently lose it. We also forget sometimes that money isn't everything and that rich people go through harsh times as well. Moreover most of these people in the end realize their shortcoming and strive for a better life. Mike Tyson is one of those people, trying to move away from his controversial persona and past to become a more productive and family oriented person.


The whole film is the rise and fall of Mike Tyson. We see his beginnings as a kid being beat up and made fun of for his speech impediment. In juvenile jail he found the love for boxing to get his anger out and got his ticket to brighter road where he met later his first manager and father figure. But after his death it seems that his life just got derailed. From a being the youngest world champ to having a terrible marriage, going to jail and then biting Evander Holyefield ear. All the most important moments of Tyson career are captured.


After seeing this film, I hope people who are pretty hateful to Mike Tyson will change their mind. Not knowing the whole story on a person's life you can easily mislabel people. Its something we don't always understand that sometimes life is worse for others and not everybody learns all the valuable lessons in life till later on. I mean yes he did do stupid things and he did say pretty racy and horrific things as you can see in the film. But not all of us have the benefit of having strong characters or a education. Tyson had no other way to protect himself from things he didn't know how to face except with anger example his mentors death, mangers and wife backstabbing him. Also there are a lot of interesting info in the film about Tyson. How he got the first heavyweight title while he was suffering from a STD.

In the end you see the catharsis and feel for tragedy his life is. He accomplished most of his dreams, didn't die young like others in the ghetto as he mentions in the film. But he did the worst thing he let himself down and his fans. Mike Tyson was a god in the ring but he knew he couldn't control himself. The lifestyle, the women, the money it’s sad to here him talk about all these things and now realize the mistakes he’s done after he’s lost everything. But it was nice enough for make it his life purpose to live for his kids.

I saw a tragic story in Tyson. One of the greatest boxers to pass the face of this Earth and to see him talk about it and go into to tears over his life is touching. Director James Toback did a swell job by letting Tyson tell the story with interviews and stock footage of his life, instead it being too focused on others pre fixed views on him. 


"Tyson" is a truthful and interesting documentary that shows Mike Tyson's life to its fullest and how even a knockout king can hit rock bottom.

Personal Rating:


review Paul Katsaros

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