On The Ropes. Keith Kraft (Mark Noyce). Image credit: Ink Pixel Films.

On The Ropes

Low budget mockumentary film about the rivalry between a boxing gym and karate club. Stars Mark Noyce, Ben Shockley and Big Joe Egan

Mark Noyce, Ben Shockley, Joe Egan, Steve Coleman, Lindsay Honey, Raymond Griffiths, Emma Louise Cargill, Sean Byrne, Alex Vincent, Dionne Vincent, Brooke Burfitt & more
Mark Noyce
Ink Pixel Films
& Happy Pup Films

When a local documentary maker is asked to cover a news story for regional TV on a 'proper fighting gym', run by Big Joe, little does he know how events will unfold when his attention is drawn to a rival gym with a unique fighting style, owned by self-professed karate expert, Keith Kraft.

Our Review: We have to be careful we don't offend any of the cast of On The Ropes with this review, as it's clear from some of the fighting scenes within the movie that they could do some damage to us if they felt like it!

Truth be told though, this mockumentary gets off to a faltering start as it struggles to focus on anything in particular. Too many characters are sort-of half introduced, and by the end of the film it is hard to remember many of their names.

Things improve when the movie does settle down on the idea of following around and focusing on karate instructor Keith Kraft. This monstrous egocentric 'plonker' carries many of the film's best lines and set pieces, and is played very well by the film's creator, Mark Noyce. However, sadly, the comic gems from Keith and his sidekick Mick don't quite come often enough for our liking, as the film attempts to keep things feeling 'real' with some more mundane scenes to add credibility too.

Looking at it from a comic angle, it would probably have been better to ditch the pretence that this could be real life we're observing and instead further heighten the comic moments.

The film culminates in a karate competition, where various impressive looking moves are carried out. Fans of martial arts will no doubt appreciate watching this stuff, but as it was a comedy free section of the film (and all we are interested in at the BCG is comedy) we should have hit 'fast forward' here in hindsight.

In summary: a bit over-long and muddled in places, but certainly some good comic moments in amongst the 90 minutes. Fans of martial arts are likely to gain the most enjoyment. Check out the trailer to get a feel for the movie.