More lovefest than slugfest, Graham Rich's docu about super-featherweight boxer Carlos "Famoso" Hernandez is simply too nice. Even the hotly contested fights in the ring, though long-lasting and hard-hitting, come off as too civilized: One of pic's rewards is watching Hernandez literally disarm his pumped-up opponents with low-key warmth.

More lovefest than slugfest, Graham Rich’s docu about super-featherweight boxer Carlos “Famoso” Hernandez is simply too nice. Even the hotly contested fights in the ring, though long-lasting and hard-hitting, come off as too civilized: One of pic’s rewards is watching Hernandez literally disarm his pumped-up opponents with low-key warmth and charm, turning every press conference into an orgy of mutual admiration. TV prospects seem iffy since boxing fans will find movie too tame, and nonfans will avoid docu with this boxer as subject. American-born Hernandez’s highlighted commitment to El Salvador and its people, however, should resonate for Latino auds.

Docu chronicles the months leading up to two major meets for the 30-year-old contender — a world title bout with undefeated champ Floyd Mayweather on the latter’s home turf of Grand Rapids, Mich., and a Latin American match with Juan Marcias in El Salvador. But pic’s true focus is on Hernandez and his wife Veronica’s mutual commitment and firm grasp of priorities — a focus that manages to overshadow even the sneaking suspicion that it was Hernandez’s niceness that cost him the world title when he failed to capitalize on Mayweather’s broken hand.

More Than Famous

Docu

Production

A Ready to Rumble production. Produced by Graham Rich, Robin Rosenfeld. Directed, written by Graham Rich.

Crew

Camera (color, B&W, digital video) Rich; editors, Bayard Stryker, Rich. Reviewed at Urbanworld Film Festival, New York, Aug. 9, 2002. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Carlos "Famoso" Hernandez, Veronica Hernandez, Robert Mittleman, Amilcar Brusa, Manolo "Chato" Robles, Chuck Bodak, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
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