The Last Gladiators
Director Alex Gibney’s piece could be easily slotted into ESPN’s 30/30 documentary series, using game footage and interviews from a wide range of NHL’s Enforcing Stars he creates a atmosphere both full of pride and yet undercut with dark tones.
‘The Last Gladiators’ claims to be a look at Enforcers of the NHL, but ends up being a non-the less intriguing biopic primarily about Chris Nilan. A shame to a certain extent, as diehard hockey fans will be disappointed with the lack of coverage of certain ‘goons’ – such as Derek Boogard or the recently deceased Rick Rypien.
The documentary looks at the NHL during the eighties with a different scope, but most poignantly observes Nilan’s downfall; which gives perspective into the psyche of many professional athletes.
A mandatory viewing for ice hockey fans, and a definite intrigue for anybody with even a mild interest in sport.