Everyone knows Conor McGregor, he’s too loud and audacious for you not to at least heard of some of his exploits so when the time came to tell his story director Gavin Fitzgerald picked up a camera, followed McGregor for 4 years and documented his meteoric rise to fame in Conor McGregor: Notorious.
The first element you’ll take note of when you watch Conor McGregor: Notorious is how magnetic McGregor is. Even I someone who finds his antics over the top found him quite endearing for the majority of this film. Seeing someone so candid about what they wanted in the world is refreshing and knowing that Conor isn’t talking out of his ass with empty promises is impressive. From the outset Conor states he wants to make money, enough to take of his family and to live the life he’s always wanted to live. It’s a lofty goal but he puts his money where his mouth is and by the end of the documentary he has done some remarkable feats. If this wasn’t a fly on the wall documentary you’d think that it was one of those old-school movies about achieving the American dream because there are exhilarating highs and notably destructive lows.
There’s something so wonderfully energetic and thrilling going on in Conor McGregor: Notorious, it’s the pulse-pounding beats that Conor utilises as he heads to a battle with his mug of tea in one hand while he is adorned in the finest threads that would put Barney Stinson to shame. Watching him go from the drab weather of Dublin to the shining streets of Las Vegas is quite the shift and it’s fascinating as the young man evolves from a street fighter to a world-class champion within such a short space of time. It’s the story, Conor, and the people in his orbit being affected by his actions that make this such an enjoyable film, especially for casual observers of UFC and McGregor.
This is strangely one of the issues with Conor McGregor: Notorious and they’re not the ones you’d expect from a sports documentary. If you are a fan of McGregor you don’t need to see this film because the majority of footage has already been seen due to how prolific McGregor is on social media. Not only that because of such a short but impactful career there’s only such much that can be told of his UFC career. There’s also the fact that we don’t see much of McGregor’s formative years as a fighter and these are the most interesting elements of him to me because even as a casual observer I knew several key elements about his career.
There is also the issue that this film is pretty much a fluff piece, we see nothing that would dare tarnish the perfection that is McGregor and it’s always the flaws of such individuals that I find the most fascinating and brings the most weight in a documentary chronicling their adventure.
These flaws aside Conor McGregor: Notorious is a highly entertaining film about one of Ireland’s greatest exports, the man, the myth, the notorious Conor McGregor. If you’re a fan you’ll know this entire story but for non-fans a whole new appreciation for McGregor will be opened up for you.