Iron Mike Exposed

Tyson gets inside the ex-champ's messed-up head
April 26, 2009

Few athletes have exuded an air of indestructibility like Mike Tyson. But deep within history's youngest heavyweight champion lay a fear that is the undercurrent of James Toback's riveting new documentary, Tyson, opening in theaters on April 24.

The film is less a critical study of the fighter than a window into his tortured psyche; the lone talking head in it is Tyson's. But the movie never feels like it's pushing a revisionist history, thanks to Tyson's general willingness to take responsibility for his former self.

Especially poignant is Tyson's confession about his intimidating ring persona: "When I come out [to the ring], I have supreme confidence, but I'm scared to death. I'm afraid of everything." It's a fitting revelation from a man whose most dangerous opponent always lay within. "It's like a Greek tragedy," Tyson told Toback upon viewing the final cut. "The only problem is that I'm the subject."

PHOTOLARRY MCCONKEY/COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES CLASSICS (TYSON)SCARY GUY Toback's documentary reveals a ferocious fighter motivated by fear.

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