It’s convenient when the title of the film gives you the entirety of the summary of the film. Granted, knowing a bit about the works of Wiseman. While he dismisses the term as pretentious, the school of verité is at least a convenient short cut to describing his work. As he dismisses those notions as arrogant, I’ll use the less succinct “he points the camera and just shoots a bunch of shit and then shows it to us”.
BOXING GYM shows us a gym. They’re boxing, and talking, nay, kibitzing as things are lifted or placed down or hit or strapped or pushed. There’s no narrative per se, but there is a certain flow or pulse that keeps it from appearing as little more than security footage.
I’m not sure you’re supposed to like this film, but it did make me feel especially lazy watching passively as people struggled and exerted, and the rhythm and repetition of the workouts were strangely soothing at times. It’s not exactly a fun watch, or even that enlightening, but as far as meditations on the culture of a shrine to pugilism goes, it’s not a bad one, meant only for those patient enough to embrace its pace and deliberate nature.