‘Ali’ Is a Mashup That’s Worse Than the Sum of Its Parts

'Ali' is what happens when Michael Mann decides to borrow too much from other films.
Poseter for the film"Ali," Will Smith portraying Muhammad Ali leans on the top ropes of a boxing ring.

Michael Mann walks the blurry lines between homage, imitation, and theft as he attempts to tell the stories of Muhammed Ali, Malcolm X, the 1960s, and the Cold War geopolitical order in a single sprawling biopic. Join as Rob and Alex Navarro take the movie to ten rounds discussing just how much Mann borrowed from Spike Lee's Malcolm X and the documentary When We Were Kings, and to what degree he ends up directing poor stealth-remakes of both.


You can listen to the first ten minutes of this Waypoint + episode below, or subscribe at WaypointPlus.com for access to the full episode and all our other episodes of Mannhunting, where Rob, Alex, and Dia work their way through the filmography of Michael Mann.