Boxing is still one of the most popular sports on the planet, and not since the sport’s heyday has there been a fighter that has captured the public’s interest like Manny Pacquiao. Manny is the chronicle of his life and how he made his from war torn slums to be a champion both in and out of the ring. A rarity in the celebrity bio documentary, the film illustrates the career highlights that you’d expect, without shying away from the flaws that make Pacquiao such a compelling and interesting subject.
Producer Ryan Moore and co-director Leon Gast, who previously delivered the award winning boxing doc When We Were Kings, give talking heads and revelations that we would expect, and there’s more than enough meat here for any sports fan to enjoy. However, to the film’s immense credit it uniquely in-depth and human, mentioning how his multiple interests including involvement in the highest levels of government and how his ambition outside the ring has taken a huge toll on his personal life. Everyone interviewed admires the man for his unrelenting determination, but they hope it doesn’t end up hurting him before the end of his boxing career.
There’s a degree of balance to Manny that makes one hope Pacquiao accomplishes everything he wants to without wearing himself out in the process. (P.S. The film is narrated by Liam Neeson, if you needed another reason to catch it.) (Dave Voigt)
Saturday, November 15th, 7:00pm, Richmond Hill Performing Arts Centre.