"Rocky Balboa Lite"
What You Need To Know:
THE HAMMER is like ROCKY BALBOA in its storyline: a washed-up, older boxer makes an unlikely return to the ring. The movie doesn’t have quite the depth, faith, redemption, and hope of everybody’s favorite underdog made famous by Sylvester Stallone. The movie has some funny, uplifting elements, and Carolla’s performance has some real comedic turns. That said, there is plenty of strong foul language, some sexual humor, some irreverent humor, some racial humor, and light boxing violence.
(PaPa, Ev, Ab, B, C, FR, Ho, LLL, V, S, N, AA, DD, MM) Mostly mixed, strong pagan worldview with some evolutionary elements seen as couple goes on date at the La Brea tarpits in Los Angeles and discusses the “evolution” of man with anti-biblical sarcasm as man looks at poster of 24,000 years ago and wryly comments “someone needs to read their Bible,” plus some moral elements as life-long failure learns to change and succeed and help others along the way and one Catholic character prays before a fight and crosses himself after prayer, but several false religious comments are made about having “to keep your Chi strong” before a fight, and one character tells of how he fought in a boxing tournament sponsored by a homosexual activist group; 25 obscenities, eight profanities and several substitution curse words; violence includes mostly punching seen in boxing matches with some blood as well as a scene where a construction boss wings a pick axe into the side of a guy’s truck and character threatens violence to hero in a back alley but he is punched out by a boxer; sexual content includes unmarried couple seen living together, some unmarried kissing and several jokes of a sexual nature; naturalistic upper male nudity of boxers; beer use seen and drunkenness depicted; quick reference to guy getting high on marijuana when he was younger; and, lying, stealing, vandalism and racist jokes and stereotypes of various nationalities and ethnicities.
THE HAMMER is the story of how 40-year-old washed-up, former amateur boxer, Jerry “The Hammer” Ferro (Adam Carolla), gets a second chance to make a return to competitive boxing and make a run at Olympic gold.
On his 40th birthday, Jerry realizes that his life is one missed opportunity after another. A constant failure who simply gives up on every chance to succeed, Jerry bounces from one construction job to the next during his days and teaches boxing classes at a local fitness center during his nights. That is, until a well-known boxing coach asks Jerry to spar with a young up-and-coming pro boxer.
When Jerry knocks out the pro in one punch, the coach convinces Jerry to train for the Olympic qualifiers. Jerry joins the coach’s training team. There, he finds that he is not only fighting against the ageism of his younger teammates, he is also battling his lifelong pattern of failure and disappointment.
THE HAMMER is not unlike 2006’s ROCKY BALBOA in its premise: a washed-up, older boxer makes an unlikely return to the ring. However, this movie doesn’t quite have the depth, faith, redemption, and hope of everybody’s favorite Philadelphia underdog made famous by Sylvester Stallone.
The movie has some very funny elements, and Carolla’s performance has some real comedic turns. That said, instead of having the eye of the tiger like Stallone’s Rocky, Carolla’s Jerry “The Hammer” Ferro has more of a lazy eye. His character, though somewhat endearing, is dim-witted and sharp-tongued. The story feels less like the redemptive triumph that it could have been and more like a vehicle for Corolla to demonstrate his sarcasm skills. The movie’s editing also seemed sloppy at times.
THE HAMMER has some content of which media-wise viewers should be aware. The movie has plenty of strong foul language. It also contains some irreverent humor, some sexual humor, some racial humor based on stereotypes, some light boxing violence, and some miscellaneous immorality such as stealing and lying. Although almost everything is handled in a comedic way and nothing seems too serious, parents and people of faith will want to be aware.
That said, there are some light moral and redemptive elements such as Carolla’s character learns to change his lifelong pattern of failure and giving up, but it is a far cry from the inspiration and faith of movies like the ROCKY series. There are plenty of movies out there in theatres and on home video that have good laughs and greater heart. For more information and reviews on uplifting movies, please visit www.movieguide.org