Combustible Celluloid
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With: Mark Zupan, Keith Cavill, Joe Soares
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Henry Alex Rubin, Dana Adam Shapiro
MPAA Rating: R for language and sexual content
Running Time: 85
Date: 01/23/2005

Murderball (2005)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Winning by a Chair

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Quad rugby player Mark Zupan has the natural screen presence of a movie star, and it's he who makes the new documentary Murderball into something better than it is. Murderball begins unflinchingly hardcore, showing off the rugged, custom-made chairs and boasting about the dangers of this reckless, fascinating and thrilling sport. But co-directors Dana Adam Shapiro and Henry Alex Rubin quickly go the touchy-feely route, solemnly telling the stories of all the players and their personal tragedies and how they've overcome adversity to get to the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece. If only the film had portrayed the players as gifted athletes and told more of a sports-oriented story. Still, Zupan and his rivalry with Canadian coach Joe Soares helps keep the film on track and makes it worth checking out.

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