Forced by lawsuit to change its name from Raging Bull II—a title taken directly from Jake LaMotta’s book, and certainly not as a means of tricking people into thinking it’s related to Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull—here’s The Bronx Bull, a film that relies entirely on tricking people into thinking it’s related to Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull. Still, despite the familiar, black-and-white boxing sequences, there are some differences.
Stepping in for Martin Scorsese is his non-union equivalent “Martin Guigui,” who crafts a prequel, sequel, and, apparently, side-quel to Raging Bull by stripping LaMotta’s story down to just the scenes that matter of Italian people yelling at and punching each other on cheaply adorned soundstages. Stepping in for Robert De Niro is William Forsythe, who purrs his lines like a human Thundercat through a series of vibrating prosthetics as LaMotta. And stepping in for the sense that this is an actual Scorsese movie are wannabe-Scorsese-movie vets like Tom Sizemore, Joe Mantegna, and Penelope Ann Miller, plus a presumably confused Paul Sorvino. The Bronx Bull currently has no release date, as distributors are not so easily misled.