If the real-life Mouse Strauss is a helluva funny and likable guy, then this movie does him a grave injustice: As played by John Savage, Mouse comes off as a charmless jerk with a grating, dumb-schmuck accent, a hustler whose confidence in his
own appeal is only slightly less off-putting than his pathetic, self-deluding conviction that being a professional loser is a noble calling. Scrawny huckster Bruce "The Mouse" Strauss (John Savage) can't box for diddly-squat, but he can kiss the canvas like a pro, a skill he parlays into a
modestly lucrative career. Surrounded by his jolly cadre of "shamsters" -- similarly untalented but endlessly game mooks willing to go a couple of rounds for a few hundred bucks -- Mouse fights under dozens of identities, scamming his way into fights in every weight class, getting knocked out in
every state in the union and cheerfully coming back for more. This vagabond life plays hell with his marriage to Omaha schoolteacher Mary Lou (Angelica Torn) and estranges him from daughter Jamie (Irina Cashen), whose ambitions to be a gymnast don't jibe with her old man's "winners are losers"
philosophy. Computers are Mouse's undoing: Once the boxing commission begins using them to track fights across state lines, Mouse's scamming days are numbered. The film is crammed with cameos by boxing personalities and, in what is presumably a show of paternal support, Rip Torn (Angelica's dad)
as a nutty trucker who believes he's Jesus.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1997
- Rating: NR
- Review: If the real-life Mouse Strauss is a helluva funny and likable guy, then this movie does him a grave injustice: As played by John Savage, Mouse comes off as a charmless jerk with a grating, dumb-schmuck accent, a hustler whose confidence in his own appeal… (more)