I watched the Mike Tyson documentary Tyson last night. The movie is very well done and I'd recommend it to non-fight fans as well as boxing enthusiasts.
The movie is a long form interview of present day Mike Tyson interspersed with fight footage, home movies, and interviews from the past. The movie isn't really at all about boxing, but rather a look at the evolution of Tyson as a man.
I think the thing that has always made Tyson a captivating character is the contrast of him as the most vicious and deadly powerful fighter in the ring against his childlike qualities outside of the ring.
Self-admittedly, Tyson has limited capabilities in dealing with the world, but this movie shows that he's hardly stupid. If anything he's overly self-aware and honest to a fault. While much of his behavior is inexcusable, taken in full context of his life's story, its at least understandable.
At 19 years old Mike Tyson was the greatest fighter in history. Period.
By 30, he was washed up.
Now 40, he has the tired reflective tone of a 80 year old.
And all through it, he's never lost the emotional weakness and vulnerability of a 12 year old boy.
I can't help but think of the parallels between Tyson and Michael Jackson...the difference, at least as shown in this movie, being Tyson's attempts to address his demons. At the end this 90 minute piece, you get the sense that he'll always be the underdog in that battle, but you still can't help yourself rooting for the champ.