Monday 15 October 2018

Conor McGregor: Notorious review: Homage to MMA star packs likeable punch

★★★

(15A, 90mins)

Action heroes: McGregor with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Notorious
Action heroes: McGregor with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Notorious

Paul Whitington

Say what you will about Conor McGregor, the man has moxie. Five years ago, he was an unknown mixed martial arts fighter talking big and training in a Crumlin gym: now he's one of the most famous people in the western hemisphere, strutting around in three-piece suits and drawing huge crowds and ratings for his UFC bouts.

He's the reigning UFC lightweight champion, and then there's the matter of that bout with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather.

Only the ancient Roman mobs could call MMA a sport, and I am not qualified to assess the Dubliner's talents - I know boxing, not this nonsense - but to judge by the buckets of blood he and his opponents leave on the canvas, he must be quite the crowd-puller.

The baying fans and tacky razzmatazz of UFC seem the perfect accompaniment to the vulgar chaos of the Trump era, but it's hard not to admire McGregor's unshakeable self-belief.

This film is more hagiography than documentary: it follows his vertiginous rise, his training regime, his blingy lifestyle and his most notable bouts. For all his swagger, McGregor is more likeable than I thought and this watchable, if not especially illuminating, film will be warmly welcomed by his legion of fans.

Irish Independent

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