Apart from some nice perfs, there’s nothing to distinguish tyro helmer Fulvio Bernasconi’s “Out of Bounds” from every other boxing film past and present. Despite hype declaring this current offering a Swiss “Fight Club,” pic makes no effort to say anything about masculinity or the origins of violence, instead relying on tried-and-true formulas of a pugilist turning to the dark side for pride and ready cash. Unlikely to become a fest fave, pic may have limited local appeal.
The script is the chief culprit, recycling lines and attempting character notations that feel tacked-on rather than genuine. Anna (Maya Sansa, “The Best of Youth”) is determined to make a champ out of her brother Michele, aka Mike (Michele Venitucci), making sure he realizes how much she’s scrimped to push him to the top. Mike’s impatience and Anna’s financial pressures (never explained) send Mike into the arms of shady fight promoters, where the boxing code of honor is exchanged for the brutality of underground absolute fighting. But can auds really buy drugged-up antagonist Ramirez (Juan Pablo Ogalde) quoting Norman Mailer? Low budget is disguised by closeups, dark backgrounds and appropriately nervous camerawork.