Wow, I can't believe there's no Ali review thread yet! C'mon, holiday or not, a new Michael Mann movie, I'm there for the first matinee! Honestly, for the first two hours, I felt terribly let down. It was as if Mann was so overwhelmed by his subject matter that he tried to tell Ali's story by skipping a stone over the pond of the Champ's life. We get a bunch of scenes: Ali as boy; Ali as new champion; Ali as newfound Muslim; Ali as disgraced Muslim; Ali as philanderer; Ali as draft-dodger. Some are better than others, many of them run on way too long. "Focus!" I wanted to cry out (literally, because I noticed an awful lot of shots slightly back-focussed; kinda distracting given how tight Mann likes to compose his shots). But, for me, the afternoon was redeemed by the last hour, which is built around Ali's title fight against George Foreman, in Zaire, the infamous "Rumble in the Jungle." For anyone who has seen the documentary from a few years ago about the same fight, When We Were Kings, Mann brings us inside the controversy and theatrics surrounding that seminal event and makes them seem hyper-real. The staging, design and attention to detail to recreate that fight are impeccable. The choreography for the fight scenes is perfect, the camera work is exhilerating. I thought it some of the most thrilling filmmaking I've ever seen. Too bad Mann couldn't have put some of that energy into the first two-thirds.