Review: TEAM KHAN Is A Total Knockout

FIRST IMPRESSION

Team Khan is an entertaining and exciting doc about a famous boxer, but it could have benefitted from a bit more depth.
Directing
Entertainment Value
Technical Merit
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Team Khan is a new documentary about professional boxer Amir Khan. It follows Khan over a two year period as he and his team strive to get a fight with the best boxer on the planet, Floyd Mayweather.

Boxing is a very unique sport. Some people absolutely love to watch it and some people can’t stand it. However, even if you don’t like watching live boxing, movies about the sport often have a surprising allure. Films like the Rocky series draw large audiences, including some fans who don’t even like the sport. Team Khan shares some qualities with those movies.

This is perhaps one of the most exciting documentaries to come out this year because of the way in which the film is shot and edited. Actual footage of Khan’s fights is included in the movie, and this can be shocking and brutal at times (thankfully, the worst of it is often not shown).

team khan weigh-in

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For people who keep up with the sport regularly, this may not be that exciting, though, as hardcore fans probably would have seen the fights as they occurred. However, the film assumes the audience does not know the results, and benefits from it, as this creates a large deal of suspense.

The film also uses music very well. The songs that were chosen for the soundtrack fit the tone well. It’s mostly popular music, but it works. The main function of the music is to create hype and intensity in the lead-up to the fights, and it does so perfectly.

team khan prep

Luckily, the movie doesn’t focus too much on the training sequences because many movies that have come before have shown boxers training for their fights. Instead, the film focuses more on the business aspects leading up to the fight. Surprisingly, it is just as suspenseful to watch Khan and his team figuring out what to do to achieve their goal as them actually doing it.

However, the movie does struggle with creating adequate depth. Khan is developed to be likable over the course of the film, but it doesn’t really do that much to help the audience get to know him more as a person. In a few of the interviews, Khan is asked about his daughter, and these are the only true hints of depth in the movie. Otherwise, it is a mostly surface-level documentary. It would have been beneficial if Khan’s personal life had been explored more.

Overall, Team Khan is a very enjoyable, albeit somewhat shallow documentary. Even if you don’t particularly like boxing, this documentary is definitely worth a shotTeam Khan is in select theaters and on demand November 16.


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Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film; however, he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

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