Resurrecting the Champ

Rated 3.0

A mediocre Denver sportswriter (Josh Hartnett) meets a homeless man (Samuel L. Jackson, recycling his fine performance in The Caveman’s Valentine) who claims to be one-time pro boxer (and contender) Bob Satterfield; the writer pounces on the subject, certain that an article on the forgotten fighter is his ticket to the big time. There are fine performances all around (including Alan Alda and David Paymer as Hartnett’s editors and Kathryn Morris as his estranged wife), slick direction by Rod Lurie, and a convincing pressroom atmosphere, but the film never becomes as compelling as it promises to be—perhaps because it switches midway from the story of a forgotten athlete to a sloppy reporter’s lame apologies for being lousy at his job. Teri Hatcher adds a witty cameo as a carnivorous exec for Showtime TV.