Even as it probes the difficulties of coping with loss and showcases Cheadle's remarkable capacity for compelling understatement, it also grants Sandler too much time to practice his seriosity in close-up.
These days, hip-hop and tv seem rather like they were made for each other, what with their many interconnections in near every commercial for fast food, soda, and sporting gear, not to mention any number of tv shows, from dramas to sitcoms, that use hiphop to signify everything from sophistication to club culture, comedy to coolness.
Ali embodies a kind of car-wreck charisma -- arrogant and self-conscious, beautiful and fierce, even on twenty-year-old tape, he can take your breath away. This ability to mesmerize makes Ali who he is, or more accurately, who everyone wants him to be. He's a cipher and a screen onto which viewers might project themselves.