Shadowboxing 3: The Final Round (Бой с тенью 3: Последний раунд—the name sounds quite dramatic in Russian, but the actual meaning is less exciting) is a 2011 Russian action/drama film, the third and last in the Shadowboxing franchise. The series started with 2005’s Shadowboxing and continued with 2007’s Shadowboxing 2: Revanche (Реванш). In real life as well, Russia is actually a boxing powerhouse—in addition to its very long tradition of bare-knuckle fighting and its other homegrown martial arts, it boasts an impressive nationally ranked boxing team that participates in international competitions.
Last Round continues the story of champion boxer and national hero Artyom Kolchin (Артём Колчин). He has stopped competing and become a trainer. Meanwhile, his personal life is falling apart—his relationship with his daughter, Polina, is deteriorating, and his wife, Vika, is leaving him. Then his celebrated boxing trainee, Oleg, almost kills an opponent, Kuerte (Куэрте), in a match, possibly by using some forbidden moves. The action continues in Hong Kong, where Kolchin discovers that Kuerte is a product of a secret medical experiment—a genetically engineered part-human. Kolchin must try to save himself, his career, and his future—which of course necessitates a return to the boxing ring.
The film, which was released in a 3-D version, got pretty good reviews from audiences and even from critics. It manages to force a whole lot of discussion of hot-button issues into what could otherwise have been a simple action film. Some reviewers praised the film for its departure from the usual sport-movie subject matter; others were more satisfied that Russia now has its own fictitious national sports hero, akin to America’s Rocky.
Director: Aleksey Sidorov (Алексей Сидоров)
Stars: Denis Nikiforov (Денис Никифоров), Andrey Panin (Андрей Панин), Yelena Panova (Елена Панова), Batu Khasikov (Бату Хасиков), Mikhail Gorevoy (Михаил Горевой), Sergey Ryabykh (Сергей Рябых)
Production company: Central Partnership
Box office take: $13.65 million