Strength and Honor, directorial newbie Mark Mahon’s Irish-born creation, tells the desperation-drenched tale of heart-weary boxer Sean Kelleher (Michael Madsen). Kelleher undergoes every life trauma in the book.

His wife dies a long and expensive death, only to result in Kelleher’s financial incapacitation and the discovery that is wife’s disease is hereditary. Kelleher’s son is inflicted with this nameless heart condition and has a mere 18 months to live unless his father can come up with $300,000.

Cue moral dilemma. After a horrible accident in the ring years ago Kelleher promised his late wife he’d never fight again. Now, he must wrestle with his demons as prize-fighting money is the only way to save his dying son.

With the grit of bare knuckle fighting enunciated by powerful sound effects and cinematography relentless in its close proximity to action, even my most sturdy of insides began to churn. However, just as the film begins to rub you raw, and you’re primed for real emotional impact, over-the-top songs of Irish gospel meets bagpipes narrate pointed actor facial inflections that scream too much directorial involvement.

The textures of the film are rich enough, and hyper-sound and aesthetics build a captivating tale, but when you add cream to cream it becomes too much for even a lactose tolerant to digest.

Grade: C

Strength and Honor is currently in theaters.