Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review: The Fighter

Grade: B-

Mickey Ward has always looked up to his older brother, Dickey, so much so that he decided to follow him in his footsteps and become a boxer. It’s all kept in the family as his manager is his mother, Alice, and his brother trains him. Unfortunately, there is a lot of inner turmoil within the family, a lot of which is caused by Dickey’s drug addictions. This has all caused Mickey to be considered a stepping stone in the boxing community and he isn’t really taken seriously. With his new girlfriend and some built up confidence, Mickey decides to look outside his family for help with his boxing career and begins to move up quickly, fighting in bigger and bigger fights.

The Fighter is based on the true story of boxer Mickey “Irish” Ward. It is already being nominated for some awards and is looking to be an Oscar contender. It is a decent movie and I enjoyed watching it, but I’m just not into boxing or boxing movies. Thankfully, the movie doesn’t really focus on the boxing but rather on the family and the conflicts within. I will admit that it is good story telling and it has some amazing acting. It is a very nice story about a working class man who is almost to the point where he is considered too old for boxing who decides to change direction in his life and go after his dream. The other side of the story that deals with Dickey and his drug addiction was fascinating as well.

Mark Wahlberg (The Other Guys, The Lovely Bones) stars in the movie as Mickey Ward. This is probably Wahlberg’s best performance to date. He is really good in it and just plays this role extremely well. Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, Public Enemies) plays Mickey’s brother, Dickey. Bale was fantastic in this movie. His style of method acting really pays off for this role and he was very enjoyable to watch in this movie. He apparently lost a lot of weight for the role, because he looks scary skinny in this movie, which works for the role but was still kind of weird. Amy Adams (Julie and Julia, Doubt) plays Charlene, Mickey’s girlfriend. Adams is one of my favorite actresses out there today and she did an amazing job with this role. It was great to see her take on a different role than she’s done in the past and she really pulled it off. The movie also features Melissa Leo, Jack McGee and others.

The fighter is a decent movie with a somewhat interesting story that is loaded with some of the best performances of the year. All of the performances were definitely made this movie worth watching. It is worth watching but, unless you know who Mickey Ward is, you could probably do just fine waiting to rent this one.

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