Date Stamp: April 22, 2015
Studio: Anchor Bay
Reviewed by: Ed Coke
While it has been said many a time, that timing is everything, it is perhaps no more relevant or critical than in the sport of boxing. Although a useful motto for all facets of life, when a split second is the only thing that exists between victory and unconsciousness, legacy and humiliation, a moment can mean everything.
In Manny, a new documentary that traces the trials and tribulations of living legend Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao (aka Pac-Man aka The Fighting Pride of the Philippines) from his rise out of abject poverty in the third world to becoming one of the greatest multi-divisional boxing champions of all time, not to mention musician, humanitarian, and politician. A modern day renaissance man if there ever was one.
Narrated by the smooth Irish drawl of Liam Neeson, and featuring endless cameos and insight from Manny’s friends, family, trainers, and celebrity fans, the movie does an impressive job at allowing the viewer into the mind of the fighter and his supporters alike. Even though one would think they’ve heard and seen it all before, with HBO and Showtime produced behind-the-scenes specials before every major fight, Manny offers a more intimate and in-depth examination that exposes both the strengths and frailties that make him who he is.
A reoccurring theme in the movie is Pacquiao’s faith in a divine plan, a highly religious man who sees the lessons and gifts in both victory and defeat. And defeat is something that may be more on his mind as of late, as it is only days before he is set to go toe to toe with another living legend, Floyd “Money” Mayweather. The match promises to be the biggest payday and showcase of both fighters’ careers and will be an opportunity for Manny, his long-time mentor Freddie Roach, the Philippines, and the rest of Pac-man’s supporters to celebrate his accomplishments as both a pugilist and a man of the people.
Manny is an inspiring, motivational, and moving film that not only sheds light on the success of Pacquiao’s professional and personal endeavours, but also his challenging struggles and the indomitable fighting spirit that continues to impress audiences around the world.