Director Rod Lurie can always find the overwrought in the mundane; his filmography (The Last Castle, The Contender, Deterrence) is stocked with bombastic movies in which a timpanis deafening rumble accompanies every sideways glance. Hes at it again with this story of Erik (Josh Hartnett), a newspaperman who doesnt do quite enough research about a would-be former boxing champ (Samuel L. Jackson) now living on the street. Eriks celebrated piece ruins him—sort of, not really, who cares? Heres what Resurrecting the Champ gets right: the dull grind of reporting and researching and writing, and the dull thud caused by a mistake made during that wearying process—a mistake made totally by accident and easily fixable with a retraction. This isnt great raw material, though Lurie and his screenwriters try their best to portray Erik like some guilt-ridden evildoer whos perpetrated a great fraud. Ace in the Hole this aint; Sweet Smell of Success neither.
Hartnett reflects at ringside.
Opens at area theaters, Fri., Aug. 24. Rated PG-13. 111 minutes.