I don’t follow the UFC and I know just enough to differentiate it from the WWF (there is a fence involved). In such circumstances, the title of the documentary Takedown: The DNA of GSP meant absolutely nothing. For a moment I thought the film was about taxes.
In this particular case, ignorance is bliss. Takedown tells the story of Georges St-Pierre, the most successful mixed martial arts specialist to take part in the UFC. Born in Quebec, a frequently picked-on St-Pierre would travel across the border every weekend just to train. His drive, along with an obsessive compulsive disorder contributed to make him a particularly dangerous opponent. In a world where brutality is king, St-Pierre prospered as the octagon’s thinking man.
With a compelling story and a charismatic subject, it’s no wonder Takedown works, despite some fortune cookie wisdom and nagging interstitials liking GSP to a lone wolf. St-Pierre is assisted by a formidable opponent, a street kid who grew to become a resentful, angry adult. As his nemesis, Nick Diaz is the perfect opposite of GSP: A grandiose trash-talker who rubs the thoughtful Georges the wrong way. They are bound to meet in the cage.
Filmmakers Peter Svatek and Kristian Manchester wisely let the story unfold by itself. There is little need to find storylines in an environment so stuffed with rivalries and career-threatening injuries. It says a lot that no other active fighters would talk on camera, while Georges grants the documentary crew all access to verify the legitimacy of the sport.
Three fighting dogs. Takedown: The DNA of GSP plays tonight at 7.30pm, the 22nd at 4.30pm and the 24th at 7.30pm at Galaxy Cinemas.