Strength and Honor
You saw him as Budd in Kill Bill: Volume 1; Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs; the deviant killer in The Getaway; the psycho killer in Kill Me Again; and the Mafia captain in Donnie Brasco. This may be the reason you'll barely recognize Michael Madsen as Sean Kelleher, the sensitive, widower father in Strength and Honor. His chosen profession is boxing but after he inadvertently kills his friend and sparring partner, he vows never to return to the ring and takes a job as an auto mechanic. His life becomes one catastrophe after another as he loses his wife to a rare heart ailment, cannot pay his medical bills and loses his home and suffers the pain of seeing his young son given a death sentence from the same hereditary heart disorder. There is one doctor in America that can operate on his son and save his life.
After much grief and soul searching, Sean breaks his vow never to fight again. It is here that Madsen earns our total interest and encouragement. We care for him, about him, and root for him as he trains to go into battle once again.
If it's Madsen on the screen, you will see a man working desperately to turn his life around. This movie belongs to Mark Mahon, its writer, producer and director. Thanks to Alan Almond, B.S.C. Director of Photography, the film is ripe with some of the loveliest scenes and exciting shots of the working man's Ireland you've ever seen. The casting was perfect: Vinnie Jones' sneer as Smasher, Luke Whelton's pleading voice as his son Michael, Richard Chamberlain's encouragement as his coach and Patrick Bergin's reformation as Papa Boss all add to the realism of this tale of triumph over despair.
The scenes watching Madsen training are memorable. Some of the brogue will be difficult to understand, but you will comprehend most of what they're saying. Do notice the "Shalom" sign affixed to Madsen's home: It means "Peace be with you." That may well be the message Mahon really wants you to take away as you leave the theater.
Strength and Honor is a most apt title for this movie truly has both.
Opens December 7 in Los Angeles. For More Information, visit www.strengthandhonorthemovie.com