DOCUMENTARY; 1hr 30min
DIRECTED BY: James Toback
The tattooed man: Tyson (in 2007)
Mike Tyson, former world heavyweight boxing champion and hellraiser, is disarmingly frank about how it was after his gutter-tough childhood in Brooklyn, New York. Nestled into leopard-print cushions, the hulking ex-fighter launches into a lisping, rambling monologue, its extensive archival footage snazzed with split screens. Director James Toback busily retraces Tyson’s heavy-hitting steps: his formative relationship with trainer Cus D’Amato, the ambition that drove and made him and the lust for ever-willing ladies.
Times and finances were sky-high. But bad luck forges a man, and an older, more tranquil Tyson doesn’t flinch from that: the marriage to actress Robin Givens that ended when he was 22, his conviction in 1992 for the rape of Miss Black America contestant Desiree Washington, for which he was jailed for three years, and the domino effect of hard partying (he retired from boxing in 2005) make must-watch material. “I don’t know how to live in the middle of life,” he figures with reflective truth. Maybe so, but has he ever lived.