- 13 Nov 17
A fairly uncritical documentary that will please McGregor's biggest fan - himself.
Conor McGregor isn’t just one of the greatest MMA fighters in the world, he’s one of the biggest personalities in sports, period. Known for his swaggering arrogance and competitive trash talk, his confidence obviously emerged early. The fighter was still a debt-laden wannabe living in his mother’s house when he decided to document his career on film. Shot between 2012 and 2016, director Gavin Fitzgerald captures McGregor’s rise from a regional scrapper to a two-weight UFC Champion, focusing on his infamous fights with Nate Diaz and Jose Aldo.
Eschewing interviews and talking heads for a fly-on-the-wall approach, Fitzgerald submerges the viewer in McGregor’s ambition. Whether training (sometimes through serious injuries), hanging out in opulent Vegas suites, or causing a stir at combative press conferences, McGregor’s focus is unwavering. He is always thinking of how to be better, and willing to starve himself and train relentlessly to put on a show. The fighter is refreshingly honest about his desire to accumulate and enjoy insane wealth; an understandable goal given his humble Crumlin beginnings. A scene where McGregor closes his door after a visit from Arnold Schwarzenegger and bursts into incredulous laughter shows the glee of a man realising he is living his dream.
While McGregor is an engaging force onscreen, the film isn’t particularly insightful. There’s no commentary about MMA itself, or his history of using racist and homophobic slurs. By not interviewing McGregor’s family, we get no insight into how he became so driven, or how his immersion in a vicious sport affects those around him.