3 StarsThe Striking Truth is somewhere between HBO’s 24/7 series and MTV Cribs. It is a handsomely shot film with aspirations to showcase two of the most popular Canadian MMA fighters of all time, Ultimate Fighting Champion Georges St-Pierre and dynamic MMA fighter David “The Crow” Loiseau. Those unfamiliar with the background story of these two warriors will find a lot of insightful moments, mixed with footage of ST-Pierre’s early fights on the local circuit. The legions of rapid fans that support these fighters and the sport in general, may find themselves bored. Particularly because the documentary was not authorized to include footage of UFC bouts. Leaving the curious viewer wondering what exactly went wrong (in some cases) or yearning to see the moment of victory.
At about the midway point director Steven Wong seems to loss focus of his subjects, the film spins on without much incident before correcting itself and ending with a gripping and surprisingly emotional story point. St-Pierre is a gentleman sweetheart, always smiling when not throwing vicious kicks and locking opponents into submission. He is like Jean Claude Van Damme mixed with Vin Diesel, perhaps the Van Damme similarity was on my brain after the Champion claimed that Bloodsport was an influence to join MMA tournaments. Loiseau on the other hand seems introspective and moody, not that he doesn’t have the same class as St-Pierre it is just a different type of appeal.
The most satisfying aspect to this documentary is in witnessing the hellish preparations that go into a training camp leading up to a fight night. As we watch Loiseau cut weight in a sauna, dehydrating his body to the point of near hallucination, it stress the point of dedication to another level. Another high-point is a conversation St-Pierre recalls having with his parents after wiping out their debut with the banks. Those two sequences are a microcosm of the risk/reward aspect in professional fighting. The Striking Truth does a good job letting us into the lives of two men that shared a common goal and the separate paths life has taken each.
Directed by Steven J. Wong
Stars: Georges St. Pierre, David Loiseau, Randy Couture