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2 out of 4 stars

Written by
Elena von Saucken and Daniel Schachter
Directed by
Florian Cossen
Starring
Alex Ozerov, Bea Santos, Udo Kier
Classification
14A
Country
Germany/Canada
Language
English

Only a Canadian indie film would have the audacity to name its teenage hero Mike Tyson, and that's just what this coming-of-age drama does, for reasons best known to the filmmakers.

Odd boxing references aside, German director Florian Cossen makes a fine and harmless English-language debut here with the story of a depressed teen boy whose suicide plans go awry, resulting in a quasi-family reunification. Cossen paces the film well, and the German-Canadian co-production also ropes in an impressive number of European performers to its Ontario-based shoot (including Victoria's Sebastian Schipper as Mike's absentee father, and the always welcome Udo Kier as the kid's psychologist).

But at the same time, there's nothing new here that hasn't been mined, ahem, to death in other, similar genre entries. Plus, that Tyson joke is just distracting by film's end.

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