A retired Muay Thai fighter named Nicky “Mitts” Malloy (Nick Sasso, who stars, wrote, produced, directed, edited and did visual effects for this movie) is a bouncer who was once an muay thai figher. One night, he rescues Nomi (Nomi Ruiz), a transgender entertainer, becoming her bodyguard and entering a relationship that will change both of them.
Ruiz — also known as Jessica 6 — contributed several songs to this film, including “Like a Ghost”, “Savage”, “Broken Toy,” and what I really liked about her role in the film is that her trans status is just a fact. It’s not a shock or played that way. It just is.
There are plenty of familiar faces here, like D.B. Sweeney as Nick’s brother, Zoe Bell as his muay thai coach and Udo Keir pops up for a bit.
Sasso may not be the world’s best actor, but he definitely has a great sense out of how to get the most production value out of this film. It looks gorgeous, with a neon palette and graphic novel sensibility. Just take a look at the poster. He’s able to get that look in this movie as well.
For a feel good fight story, Haymaker avoids cliches. I look forward to seeing what Sasso and Ruiz do next.