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File:Ali movie poster.jpg

Ali is a 2001 biopic directed by Michael Mann and starring Will Smith, about the life of Muhammad Ali. The movie specifically portrays the life of Ali from his fight as Cassius Clay against Sonny Liston, to the famous "Rumble In the Jungle" match in Zaire with George Foreman. The movie also depicts moments in Ali's history, such as his fading friendship with Malcolm X, his fight against the draft in Vietnam and his feud against Smokin' Joe Frazier. While the movie bombed at the box office, with mixed reviews; it received enough acclaim to be nominated for both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards. With Will Smith (Ali) And Jon Voight (Howard Cosell) nominated respectively. Which lost to Denzel Washington for Training Day and Jim Broadbent for Iris.


Tropes used in Ali include:
  • Artistic Licence History: The movie seems to have some liberties regarding the historical events. The big example being that the movie, implies that Malcolm X's assassination was the result of an FBI conspiracy, rather than in real life where Nation of Islam was considered the prime suspect.
  • Badass Boast/You Fight Like a Cow: Every one of Ali's speeches often skirts the line between both tropes. Ali uses said speeches to both hype the crowd and intimidate his opponents. Some of which are often comical and border-lining on Kayfabe. But what makes it awesome is he means every word.
  • Berserk Button: After his name was changed to Muhammad Ali, being referred to by his former name Cassius Clay is one for him. When Ernie Terrel referred to him as such, Ali almost fought him at the weigh in of their match. Later on Ali beat him down in a matter of seconds. He also angrily refuses to be called Clay by the US Army recruiters. The only time the name gets a free pass is when Howard Cosell recaps and announces Ali's victory of his fight against the draft.
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Ali: WHAT'S MY NAME MOTHERFUCKER!?

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    • Don King presses it accidentally when he insults Ali's trainer Angelo Dundee.
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Ali: Hey man!! Don't you never talk to Angelo like that. Don't you never hear me let you talk to Angie like that again.

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  • Determinator: Ali never quits unless he's knocked out. The best example being his fight with Foreman. He allows George to wear himself out trying to knock him out, before knocking him down and out.
  • Draft Dodging: Played with. Ali makes it very clear he's not dodging the draft in the cliched sense and that he's fighting the draft instead. However he does list off all the ways one typically dodges the draft and deconstructs it in comparison to his own fight against it.
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Muhammad Ali: I ain't draft dodging, I ain't burning no flag and I ain't running to Canada. I'm staying right here. You want to send me to jail? Fine you go right ahead. I been in jail for 400 years. I can be there for 4 or 5 more. But I ain't going no 10 000 miles to help murder and kill other poor people. If I wanna die, I'll die right here, right now, fighting you. If I wanna die, you my enemy. Not no Chinese, no Viet Cong, no Japanese. You my opposer, when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want justice. You my opposer when I want equality. You want me to go somewhere and fight for you? You won't even stand up for me, right here in America. For my rights and my religious beliefs. You won't even stand up for me here at home!!

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  • My God, What Have I Done?: When the Nation of Islam extends Malcolm X's suspension, Malcolm tries to talk to Ali while they both take their separate trips to Africa. A trip that both of them were supposed to go, together. However Ali refuses to speak to him honoring Elijah Muhammad's wishes much to the shock of Malcolm. When news of Malcom X's assassination reaches Ali, he is filled with deep regret, due to the last time they spoke.
  • Product Placement: When Ali's boxing license is suspended during the draft fight, Chauncey Eskridge suggests in order to keep a cash flow, that Ali must invoke this trope. In this case they discuss the opening of the very real ChampBurger restaurant. A notion Ali finds ridiculous at first, but when he realizes he needs the money he goes for it.
  • That Man Is Dead: Ali pulls this twice. First when he refuses to be called Cassius Clay, instead taking a page from Malcolm and calling himself Cassius X. His reasoning being that Clay was the name of the man that enslaved his ancestor. Later on when Elijah Muhammad bestows upon him the name Muhammad Ali, he considers the entire name to be dead.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Malcolm X's assassins pull this one off posing as two people accusing one of pick pocketing the other. When Malcolm tries to peacefully break it up. One of them pulls out a shotgun and empties both barrels in him. While the other, plus two more use pistols to shoot him for good measure.
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