Few athletes have exuded an air of indestructibility like Mike Tyson. But deep within history's youngest heavyweight champion lay a fear that is the undercurrent of James Toback's riveting new documentary, Tyson, opening in theaters on April 24.
The film is less a critical study of the fighter than a window into his tortured psyche; the lone talking head in it is Tyson's. But the movie never feels like it's pushing a revisionist history, thanks to Tyson's general willingness to take responsibility for his former self.
Especially poignant is Tyson's confession about his intimidating ring persona: "When I come out [to the ring], I have supreme confidence, but I'm scared to death. I'm afraid of everything." It's a fitting revelation from a man whose most dangerous opponent always lay within. "It's like a Greek tragedy," Tyson told Toback upon viewing the final cut. "The only problem is that I'm the subject."
LARRY MCCONKEY/COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES CLASSICS (TYSON)
SCARY GUY Toback's documentary reveals a ferocious fighter motivated by fear.