When nerdy, Matthew Miller, changes schools he soon becomes the school bully’s new punching bag. With boxing in his blood though, he decides to try-out for the team, only to be knocked out by Hector (the bully). In walks the janitor, who is an ex-boxer that empathises with Matthew and he becomes his trainer, in the hopes that Matthew would somehow regain his confidence in school and in life. Dan (the janitor) gets Matthew into the box-off in order to have a fair fight against Hector and hopefully to get a spot on the team that goes to the state championship. The question is whether or not Matthew will succeed or not though… it’s all up to him.
Knockout is a high school movie that tries to promote confidence in kids through learning to stand up for themselves. That being said, it’s like a high school Rocky movie featuring wrestling superstar, Stone Cold Steve Austin! Already sold, huh? I was. Granted, the film does look slightly independent and the acting isn’t magnificent, also the ending is corny, but it was fun regardless. Frankly, it’s a coming of age story with a twist and Knockout is great for family viewing.
Steve Austin, who plays Dan Barnes has taken to acting now that he doesn’t wrestle anymore (sadly, he still doesn’t get the big roles like Dwayne Johnson does, but he’s getting there) and it was a good enough way to start his new career. At least we can see that there is acting talent hidden behind the muscle. Daniel Magder who plays Matthew Miller is still young enough to make it into the big leagues, though I would suggest a bit more training would benefit him immensely.
Don’t expect a thick plot from Knockout, because you won’t find it. Knockout is a pretty straightforward film that will either give you enjoyment or headaches. It all depends in what type of mood you’re in. I was sold in seeing Steve Austin again (come on, everyone loved Stone Cold) and it probably had an influence on how I judged the movie. Knockout isn’t going to win any Oscars either, but I doubt that was what they were trying to do in the first place. The fact is, bullying is a big problem, especially when it comes to high school students. If you don’t find your place in the world, you’ll get beat down and that is what Knockout is trying to communicate to audiences.
In my opinion, I’d say it’s a fun little flick for the family and say go for it. Get your hands on it if you can and if you want to. It’s difficult to say whether or not you absolutely have to see it, when I think my review got compromised because I was so excited to see Steve Austin again (I had a major crush on him when I was in high school), but it’s definitely not horrible. So, to be the ever unbiased type, I’d suggest that you rather rent it than buy it.