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“Rumble Through the Dark” General Information

Directors Graham Phillips and Parker Phillips
Screenplay By Michael Farris Smith
Based On “The Fighter” by Michael Farris Smith
Date Released (Video On Demand) November 10, 2023
Genre(s) ActionThriller
Film Length 1 Hour, 56 Minutes
Content Rating Rated R
Noted Characters and Cast
Jack Boucher Aaron Eckhart
Annette Bella Thorne
Big Momma Sweet Marianne Jean-Baptiste

Content Rating Explanation

“Rumble Through the Dark” is Rated R due to violence, murder, profanity, sexual content, and drug use.

“Rumble Through the Dark” Film Summary

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

“Rumble Through the Dark” is exactly how viewers might feel watching this disorienting and (figuratively and literally) dark movie about a bare-knuckle boxer. The Phillips’ brothers’ 2-hour movie is meant to be an action-thriller. “Rumble Through the Dark” is competently made but cannot build suspense or thrills in its story or action.

From the very start, “Rumble Through the Dark” presents a deranged performance by Aaron Eckhart as Jack Boucher, a boxer who is rapidly losing his memory and trying to pay off a massive amount of debt. Set in Mississippi, the accents are thick, and the crime underbelly is widespread as we meet an array of sleazy characters. Jack takes a huge gambling risk that results in him winning the $30,000 he needs to pay off his debt. But in an unfortunate turn, Jack is ambushed, beaten down, and loses the money all over again.

Jack’s mental deterioration is worsening, his foster mom’s house is getting foreclosed, and his debts to Big Momma Sweet (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) leave him branded and even more beaten down. The only light in Jack’s life is a chance encounter with Annette (Bella Thorne), a young woman who believes she is Jack’s daughter (just a feeling) and wants to help him. But Jack sees no choice but to return to cage fighting in a match that might just end his life.

The official synopsis for “Rumble Through the Dark” describes 70% of the film’s run time. The film features flashbacks to Jack’s childhood, which add a gentleness to the crude story, but ultimately, “Rumble Through the Dark” is oddly paced, and its story structure is confusing and sometimes unintentionally funny.

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Aaron Eckhart stars in “Rumble Through the Dark” (2023)

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Jack Boucher

Jack was once a boxing champion, but years of hard hits and addiction have turned him into a broke and broken man who can’t remember who he is. While Jack’s memory is fleeting, he knows he loves his foster mom and wants to keep their house from being foreclosed.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “The Dark Knight,” their role in “Thank You for Smoking,” and their role in “Olympus Has Fallen.”

Annette

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Bella Thorne as Annette in “Rumble Through the Dark”

Annette works as a lap dancer at a small, run-down fair, but she hopes for a better life. When she meets Jack, she suspects that he might be her dad.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Shake It Up,” their role in “Blended,” and their role in “The Babysitter.”

Big Momma Sweet

Big Momma Sweet is the owner of Jack’s debt and can inflict pain on him like no other. While she’s known Jack for years, his $30,000 leaves her reluctant to trust him ever again.

  • The actor is also known for their roles in “Secrets & Lies,” “Without a Trace,” and “Surface.”

“Rumble Through the Dark” Review

Our Rating:  Mixed (Divisive)

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Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Big Momma Sweet, faces off with Jack Boucher in “Rumble Through the Dark”

Low Points

Rushed Plot Points and Pointless Diversions Create Strange Pacing

What happens with Jack’s debt? What about the money Annette coincidentally took from him? Why does she believe he is her dad? What’s their connection? These are just a few questions “Rumble Through the Dark” leaves viewers in the dark about, but they’re also important story beats that leave us scratching our heads instead of getting us emotionally invested in the story. All the key characters and premise for the movie don’t really start until halfway through the film, which makes the first 50 minutes confusing.

On The Fence

Jack Boucher: A Man with Many Problems, But Little To Say About Them

Aaron Eckhart wears Jack Boucher’s bruised and broken body like a glove, but there’s so much going on with Jack that very little has a satisfying conclusion. He has multiple addictions, is losing his memory and mind, he’s $30,000 in debt, needs to pay Big Momma Sweet, needs to save his mom’s house, and he just learned he’s a dad. We don’t see much closure or get a feel for who Jack Boucher is as a happy man. He starts low and just gets lower.

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“Rumble Through the Dark” Lacks Tension in Action

While the action gets progressively better in “Rumble Through the Dark,” the first hour seems to strictly take place at night, which makes for confusing fists flying and bodies falling. Worse yet, we don’t know who these people are or why we should care about their rise or fall. While the fights do get better, you’re feeling like this action-thriller underwhelms in its genre.

Who Is This For?

Fans of Southern action movies, thrillers, or Aaron Eckhart performances might enjoy “Rumble Through the Dark.”

Recommendations

If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. The Vigilante
  2. Murder City
  3. Hypnotic

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.

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Rumble Through the Dark (2023) – Movie Review
Overall
Flashbacks make an intriguing, gentle touch in “Rumble Through the Dark," but the rest of the movie's structure is confusing and sometimes unintentionally funny. 
Highlights
Disputable
Rushed Plot Points and Pointless Diversions Create Strange Pacing
Jack Boucher: A Man with Many Problems, But Little To Say About Them
“Rumble Through the Dark” Lacks Tension in Action
70

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