I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Lights Out" (2011)

The first shot is of heavyweight boxer Patrick "Lights" Leary (Holt McCallany) laying on a table in a locker room.  He's out cold and his face looks like ground hamburger.  His wife Theresa (Catherine McCormack) revives him, and tends to his wounds.  Lights has just finished a brutal fight, and he tells his wife he was robbed of the victory.  Theresa agrees, but she can't take seeing her husband take the punishment anymore.  She tells him to forego the ring or she's leaving him.

Fast forward five years.  Lights has retired from boxing, and life appears to be good.  His family lives in a sprawling house, Theresa has been accepted to a medical residency, and their three daughters are in private school.  Lights owns a boxing gym where his dad, Pops (Stacy Keach) continues to train boxers.  On the surface, things look fine, but there are cracks in the foundation.  Lights' brother Johnny (Pablo Schreiber) is Lights' manager, and money problems are piling up.  A real estate deal has fallen through, the gym is not generating much income, and Lights is calling out numbers at bingo games to earn extra funds.  The IRS comes to check the books, and the financial problems increase.  A loan shark, Hal Brennan (Bill Irwin) is offering Lights big money to be a "collector" of debts, something he doesn't want to do.  On top of everything else, Lights learns he has signs of pugulistic dementia, and his time of continuing to be of sound mind may be cut short. 

Lights still replays the last fight with Death Row Reynolds (Billy Brown) in his mind.  He was only champ for a few months, but he misses the rush of the battle. He misses being known as someone.  Lights is struggling with an identity crisis, while dealing with other problems in his world.  This was a well put together drama that played like a movie.

Unfortunately, it was not meant to last.  FOX canceled "Lights Out" after one season.  Before it ended, Brennan and underhanded fight promoter Barry K. Word (Reg E. Cathey) had banded together to fuel Lights' rematch with Reynolds.  However, their alliance was very uneasy, and it was unclear whether Brennan really had good intentions towards Lights.  Lights, Johnny and their sister Margaret's (Elizabeth Marvel) had returned after years of estrangement under the guise of wanting to reconnect with family.  Her real goal was to fleece Lights out of money to support her and a ne'er do well boyfriend.  Lights replaced his dad as trainer with another trainer who seemed to be a loose cannon, and who had a connection with Reynolds.  There was tension between Lights and Theresa because of his return to boxing and their financial woes, which led to a brief separation.  It was also revealed that Theresa came to America to escape a scandal caused by her father, a doctor who had embezzled money.

Lights and Reynolds faced each other in the ring.  The referee made some bad calls on Lights while allowing Reynolds to get away with infractions.  It appeared that the referee had been told to give Lights a hard time -- but by who?  Brennan or Word?  Plus, Brennan was seen telling the ringside doctor to ignore Lights' injuries in order to keep the fight going.  The fight turned into a bloody war, with Lights beating Reynolds to a pulp and asking the referee, "Are you going to stop this?"  Lights regained the heavyweight title. 

Theresa found Lights wandering around the stadium sometime later and told him it was time to face the reporters who wanted a story.  Confused, Lights asked his wife, "Who won?"  Did Lights' pugalistic dementia take a turn for the worse?  Unfortunately, fans of the show will never find out.

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