Went and saw the movie last night. PHENOMENAL.
The Fighter 115 Minutes Rating: 9/10 Stars Reviewed by Kasper
Based on a true story, the movie follows former welter weight boxer Mickey Ward. Mickey (played by Mark Wahlberg, recently seen in The Other Guys) is a small town guy from Lowell, Massachusetts. He wants to be a successful boxer and has a lot of talent (and even more heart), but can't seem to catch a break in his career. A lot of that probably stems from the fact that his manager is his mother and his trainer his brother. That wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, but his mother got her business model from the back of a cereal box and his brother is a crackhead.
Christian Bale plays Dicky, Mickey's brother. Once in a while an actor has a role where the performance just leaps off the screen at you. This is that time for Bale. His portrayal of Dicky Eklund, a crackhead who keeps living in the past (he knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard once, as he tells us about 66 times in the movie), is phenomenal. It was akin to Mickey Rourke's breakout performance in The Wrestler. If I were to have reviewed that movie, it would have gotten a 10/10 from me. I would be really surprised if Bale didn't win multiple awards for Best Supporting Actor for this job.
He's not the only one that shines in this film though. The entire cast is so good, it actually makes look Wahlberg look pedestrian in his role as the aspiring champ and lead role. Amy Adams (Leap Year) plays a strong, sassy and confident woman who falls in love with Mickey. I was listening to an interview with Wahlberg on the radio about the film and he said it amazing to see Adams in this role, because she is typically thought of as a Disney Princess. I laughed when I heard this, because I have to admit, when I saw she was in the movie I had my doubts about her character without even knowing much about it. She put any doubts to rest with her job on the character and like everyone else in the film, she was phenomenal.
Director David Russell was either a genius in his direction of this film, or he lucked out with amazing writers and superb acting from the cast. I'd guess it was a lot of both, because this film really was amazing. There was one point in the movie where I started to get a bit bored. It was during the transition for Mickey from mediocrity to success. They tried to bridge the transformation with a few short scenes and a montage. It was only about a ten minute bridge, but it was dry enough to take a bit away from the overall impact of the film. Other than that, I can't complain about anything.
While the main focus appears to be about boxing and an unknown fighter's rise to greatness, that isn't actually what the film is about. It's really a character piece. It's about family dynamics. It's about drive, determination and failure. The film is inspiring, touching, scary, funny and sad all at the same time. There were many times in the movie where I laughed out loud. Other times I was on the edge of my seat. Finally, I was almost brought to tears at the end. I turned to my wife and said "This is crazy. I want to cheer and cry at the same time." For the record, I did neither... but I really was tempted to do both.
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