Rated 2.0

A hand-to-mouth New York youth (Channing Tatum) falls in with an oily street hustler (Terrence Howard), who introduces him to the world of illegal underground fistfighting; he accidentally wins his first fight, and overnight he’s the talk of the town—or at least the part of it that goes in for things like that. The script, by Robert Munic and director Dito Montiel, is as shapeless and sloppy as Montiel’s direction. Despite the patently unbelievable plot and the inarticulate (possibly improvised) dialogue, the movie’s not entirely boring: The fight scenes are well-staged (unlike the rest of the movie), and performances are OK—that is, from those who can act in the first place, like Howard, Luis Guzmán as a rival hustler and Brian J. White as another fighter. Tatum is, as always, a hopeless lump.