October 01, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

Much of the comic effect of Swingers hinges on Favreau’s looking like a bouncer but behaving like Woody Allen circa 1972. Here, he divests himself of any nebbishy qualities and does a surprisingly credible job as the undefeated champ — who, Rocky Marciano suggests, was as skilled at pinching pennies as he was at punching palookas. Pity that those around him — George C. Scott as the immigrant father, Miller as Long-Suffering Wife #437 — are so tenement-drab.

REEL GOODIES (1:19) Simultaneously hungry for glory and wracked with guilt, Marciano beats the animate excrement out of his hero, Joe Louis.
THE LAST DETAIL This isn’t the first time Favreau has taken to the ring; he guest-starred on Friends as a millionaire bent on becoming an ultimate fighting champion.

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