Written by / 5/24/2011 / 2 Comments / , , , , , , , ,

THE FIGHTER

title: THE FIGHTER
year: 2010
cast: Mark Wahlberg, Chritian Bale, Melissa Leo, Amy Adams
rating: ****

Within the first ten seconds it's apparent, as the film begins with pseudo documentary footage about two brothers – one, Dicky Eklund, a has-been boxer who had, years earlier, knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard and the other, Micky Ward, a climber in a slump – that Christian Bale (as Dicky) not only deserved the Oscar but is so in-character, it seems too real a performance to be one at all.

But that shouldn't take away from the quieter, soft-spoken Micky, played with deft subtlety by Mark Wahlberg, who absorbs his older bro’s training and experience to continue fighting, although it’s not easy: Dicky’s an emaciated, motor-mouthed drug-addict with wily charm, and can’t be bogged down to any structure – which is what Micky needs to move to the next level i.e. win an important fight.

Melissa Leo, as the brother’s gloriously cranky mother, a character filmed to be loved, plays more for an audience than the frighteningly genuine Bale… though her frantic diatribes are something to admire. The only drawback is that the documentary approach (a film being made of Dicky within the actual movie), while balancing the street savvy structure, makes more mainstream moments – like Micky’s relationship with a local girl, a police chase, and the falling out (and reconciliation) between brothers – seem somewhat contrived in comparison.

But this is a great film that envelops boxing as if it were not only a sport and/or devise, but a character in itself: Bale and Wahlberg, both inside the ring and out, impeccably channeling that medium.
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2 comments:

  1. Glad you finally got around to this movie. Bale is awesome as the cracked out ex-boxer. I love how they threw in actual footage of the boxers and at the end where they showed the actual two boxers. Another thing is I remember seeing some of these guy's fights. I thought it might be my favorite boxing movie I've seen since Raging Bull. Unfortunately and Fortunately the Rocky movies popularized and ruined the boxing movie genre at least for me. When I hear boxing movie I cringe unless it's BOXING HELENA. And I've been saying it for awhile, Marky Mark can act. And I've loved BALE since EQUILIBRIUM. Dug this movie a ton.

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  2. i dont know, the original ROCKY was pretty darn good.

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