A hard-to-rate sports movie about girls' weightlifting
It's hard to rate Lifting King Kong. The first half would get a 4 and the last half an 8.
Sports movies follow a clear pattern: the coach might not want the job, the team is a rag tag bunch that can't succeed or work together, the team is comically bad, but something sparks their interest and all of a sudden, they're engaged in camaraderie and hard work while exciting music plays; the big game comes and something terrible happens but they pull together at the end. Lifting King Kong, in many ways, follows that same pattern. If that's a spoiler for you, you haven't seen many sports movies!
The focus of this movie is on a man who won an Olympic bronze for weightlifting -- bronze, because he injures himself in his final lift. He can no longer lift and feels like a failure. A few years later, he's down on his luck but is pushed into a job as a coach for a school weightlifting girls' team. The team is rag tag, etc. (see the previous paragraph).
In watching Lifting Kong King, it was like watching two different movies. The first half (the rag tag, down-on-their-luck team) is so ridiculous in how it's portrayed, that the word "cartoony" kept coming to mind. I rarely quit a movie in the middle but I was tempted to here. It was just too overdone.
The second half of the film, though -- the part of the sports movie where the team is finally getting it together -- seems utterly different in style. The actors and actresses are generally quite engaging and the ending pretty powerful.
In short, if you start it, stick with it past the 1:15 mark and you'll likely find it worth your time.
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