Rumble Through the Dark (2023) Review

A Down n' Dirty Fight Flick


Rumble Through the Dark is more of a character piece with a few fight scenes rather than an action picture but there are enough to keep things moving and they are satisfyingly brutal too. Aaron Eckhart gives one of his best performances as the broken Jack Boucher and the cast are faultless all round making this well worth at least a one-time watch.

Plot: In the dark landscape of the Mississippi Delta, a bare knuckle cage fighter seeks to repay his debts in a final, desperate attempt to salvage the family home of his dying foster mother.

Review: I feel like Aaron Eckhart doesn’t get enough appreciation as an actor; when The Dark Knight came out everyone raved about Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker but I loved Aaron’s portrayal of Harvey Dent where he made the transformation from Gotham’s White Knight to the crazed Two Face after losing the love of his life quite nightmarish.

The trailers for Rumble Through the Dark made it look like a balls to the wall fight flick and there are plenty of vicious beatdowns but this is more of a thriller with some slowburn character moments; this may put some viewers off but I found it genuinely moving and once again Eckhart is phenomenal as Jack Boucher giving one of his most powerful performances to date. He’s a fighter way past his prime where he can barely stand up after years of taking beatings.

Jack makes enough money to pay off Bog Momma Sweet (a charismatic Marianne Jean-Baptiste) but after giving a thug named Skelly a lift one night, it doesn’t go to plan and he loses the money; he is then forced to fight for Big Momma once again so he can not only pay her back but make enough money to keep his mother’s house.

Bella Thorne plays Annette who doesn’t want Jack to fight anymore but he knows it’s a necessary evil and the only way he knows how to make enough money; she is also well cast and gives a heart wrenching turn.

There isn’t a bad performance to be found here however, at times I did struggle to make out some of the dialogue, so I would like to rewatch it again with subtitles but I could work out what was going on easily enough.

There is a rather awesome music score to this film which really amps up the fight scenes making things more exciting.

In terms of action we get a few fights with the finale being suitably exciting and providing a well-needed surge of adrenaline; they are made to look brutal, never glamourising the violence but showing the effect it can have on the body and mind.

Overall, Rumble Through the Dark has the odd pacing issue and is more of a character piece than all-out action movie but there are enough brutal beatdowns to keep genre fans entertained and Eckhart always delivers.