S.I.M Rating: 7.08 out of 10 (10 Votes)
Cast: Danny Trejo, Steven Bauer, Alvaro Orlando
Having a dream and doggedly working to realize it, despite the obstacles, is the focus of Counterpunch, a boxing drama that delivers a knockout punch on nearly every level. Parallels to the iconic 1970s "Rocky," at least on first glance, soon give way to a gritty, emotional story that stands just fine on its own.
Young Latino boxer Emilio (Alvaro Orlando) has more than his share of burdens to bear, including a shady mother, non-existent father, a bipolar disorder and a brief stint in a mental facility. But when he's in the ring, everything else fades away, and with encouragement from a loving grandmother and uncle, as well as a love interest, Emilio sets his sights on the Golden Gloves boxing championship.
The fight scenes could have possibly been better staged, but that's about all anyone could complain about, as Orlando delivers a convincing portrayal while the rest of the cast (Danny Trejo, Steven Bauer, Camila Banus) are top-notch.
Filmed on a shoestring budget, Counterpunch nonetheless is a powerful drama, daring to go face-to-face with the audacity of dreams and not resorting to predictable cliches along the way.