Once known as “the baddest man on the planet”, the 2008 documentary film Tyson delves into the highly publicized life of one of the most controversial figures of all time, former heavyweight champion of the world, “Iron” Mike Tyson. Directed by James Toback, the film stars Mike Tyson as it takes a look at his life both personal & professional; both inside & outside of the ring.
This 90 minute film is basically Mike Tyson opening up about all of the trials & tribulations that he has gone through throughout his entire life. For example, he talks about how hard it hit him when his trainer, Cus D’Amato, passed away as he was like a father figure to Tyson. He also opens up about not properly training for James “Buster” Douglas the way he should have & ended up losing the heavyweight title as a result. Another thing Tyson discusses are both of his fights with Evander Holyfield & how he snapped during their second fight which caused him to bite Holyfield’s ear. Of course, outside of the ring, he also mentions his tumultuous relationships with Robyn Givens & Desiree Washington. Finally, he brings up his fights with Lennox Lewis & Kevin McBride & how he didn’t have that fire inside of him anymore & only did those fights for the paychecks.
One aspect of the filmmaking which I thought was excellent was the direction they decided to go in. After all, Mike Tyson is one of the most controversial figures ever, yet misunderstood. This film finally gave Tyson the chance to open up about his life & to reflect on it. Just by opening up about it, not only does it help us understand him a lot better, but it also helps Tyson grow up as a man & move on with his life. Sometimes, it helps to open up & to not keep everything bottled up inside. He was allowed to be himself without being censored for his comments.
Although I thought this film was pretty good, I do have one complaint about this film. Instead of Tyson talking for the entire 90 minutes, I think other people should have talked as well about Tyson. For example, they could have asked “Buster” Douglas what it was like to score the upset over Tyson. They could have also asked Evander Holyfield how he felt when Tyson bit him & how he feels about him now. After all, sometimes it’s good to get both sides of the story.
My overall reaction to this film is that I thought it was not bad. I think “Iron” Mike did a great job letting us into his life. I would recommend this film to not only any Mike Tyson fan, but to anyone facing their own personal issues. I am glad Tyson did this film because hopefully it’ll be a way of redeeming himself to those who don’t like him. You can’t help but have sympathy for a guy who had everything, a man who was on top of the world, then lost it.