Review (Scott McCutcheon 10/04/24)

Tim Realbuto isn’t a name that will be known to most movie goers. The actor has appeared in a few American TV dramas but is best known for his extensive list of Off-Broadway plays and musicals. On the evidence of Bobcat Moretti the name Tim Realbuto might become as well known in the cinema as he is in the theatre.

Realbuto plays Bobby ‘Bobcat’ Moretti an obese MS sufferer who in order to overcome a personal tragedy in his life moves in with his brother and takes on a job as a handyman in a local gym. His place of employment isn’t just any gym but his the place where his father died many years ago whilst boxing.

Inspired by the gyms charismatic owner (Vivica A. Fox) Moretti trains to become a boxer like his dad. His goal is to fight Coolio (played by Coolio himself) the abusive partner of a Lacey ‘Boots’ Harris, a boxer who Moretti has a crush on.

Filmed over the course of a year the transformation in Realbuto from an obese loser into a boxer is nothing short of remarkable, Realbuto broke a world record, losing 154 pounds (the most any actor ever has for a film role) to play the title character.

Whilst Realbuto has obviously put this heart and soul into the role he’s let down by a script that tends to lose its way in the final third. Whilst he lost a tonne of weight for his final boxing scene putting him in the ring with Coolio only tends to highlight that, whilst he can act out of the ring, it’s asking a lot of Realbuto to play an actual boxer. He never looks comfortable swinging punches and Coolio looks as if he could rip the poor man’s head off with one arm tied behind his back.

Boxing realism aside Bobcat’ Moretti isn’t without its merits. Strongly acted and with just about enough emotional pull that doesn’t veer towards sugar-coating the drama Bobcat’ Moretti might not be the best boxing film ever made but as a strong piece of entertainment it’s worth searching out.


Bobcat Moretti

1h 36m

Director: Rob Margolies
Cast: Tim Realbuto, Vivica A. Fox, Taryn Manning

UK Release: Digital Platforms 15th April 2024