DVD Movie Review: Conor McGregor: Notorious

By Thom Compton 21.11.2017

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Conor McGregor: Notorious (UK Rating: 15)

Conor McGregor is a modern athletic legend. Thanks to his sky rocketing career, and his impressive record setting achievement, he's become a figure that many think of as soon as they think of UFC. It's not surprising. He has an intense, but somehow charming personality. His laugh is loud and genuine, and he surrounds himself with an excellent crew. Many of his closest friends are also on his team, and his girlfriend, Dee, is a constant cheerleader in his corner. A movie about this group of people, then, all cheering on Conor's sky rocketing career, should be a wonderful experience, right? Sadly, it's really not.

The problem is that Gavin Fitzgerald has turned out a film that sticks so adamantly to being a humdrum documentary that it fails to make much of its subject matter resonate. The end result is a viewing experience that would feel at home as a one-time special on MTV in the mid-2000s. It's so by the books that by the time it's over, it's hard to really remember anything of importance. This is sad, because it results in glossing over the fights that made McGregor so famous, in favour of showing him train, and inflating his ego.

There's nothing wrong with admiring the star, but this is ninety percent of what the film does. Even in what should have been the most humbling moment, the dip if you will, it manages to quickly gloss over McGregor's failure. Instead, it almost immediately jumps back into building McGregor's image up, resulting in a moment that loses all of its weight. Consequently, his return to his former, more confident self is robbed of any sense of power. Sure, you don't want them to make it feel scripted, but here it manages to feel conceited. Like the film is so uncomfortable not building up the McGregor name, it skitters past it, holding its breath for a few moments rather than getting right back into the fun.

Sadly, the whole of Notorious is like this. Everything feels so much larger than life that it actually robs the film of its ability to make you believe it. This isn't to say Conor's accomplishments aren't astounding, as they clearly are. This is just to say that for something that was shot over the course of four years, that clearly wants to dig deeper into its subject matter, it never really exposes anything you couldn't find on YouTube, or a well calculated Google search. Actually, this does expose something interesting about his first major fight that was kept from everyone but his team. Still, this probably won't make you any more a fan of the film, so much as it makes Conor's accomplishments later in the film that much more impressive.

Aside from this, though, there are a couple of weird, almost scripted, sounding lines, and McGregor's struggle to get to fame as a younger man is brushed over far too quickly. However, this isn't a terrible documentary, just an underwhelming one. If you're a fan of McGregor's, or of UFC in general, add a couple points because you're clearly the audience this is aiming at. Sadly, it doesn't seem interested in roping new fans in, simply getting the existing ones more pumped up. This begs the question, though, of is this just a 90-minute commercial about Conor McGregor? Unfortunately, that's all too often how it feels.

Rated 4 out of 10


Conor McGregor: Notorious is a fairly by the books documentary that seems less interested in feeling and more interested in plugging. This is a shame, because almost everyone in the film is interesting enough that this could have had some really interesting moments throughout. However, thanks to the director spending most of his footage just filming everyone talk about how great McGregor is, few of the moments truly feel like they matter.

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