Some kinds of stories never die, we may see them over and over again, but that’s cause we love em. There’s nothing original about another underdog boxer story, but it can still provide the kinds of highs and lows we never tire of in the movie going experience. What we should feel fortunate for with a movie like David O. Russell’s The Fighter, is that it made it it’s business to be more than another flash in the pan sports movie. It’s got a good script, good direction, and most importantly, great acting. So when all these little elements are in the right place, you can bet you’re gonna have a good time at the movies.
The Fighter, is the true story of Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), a struggling boxer who lives in the shadow of his older half-brother Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale), the “Pride of Lowell, Massachusetts” for supposedly once knocking out Sugar Ray Leonard. Though Micky can take a punch like no one’s’ business, he’s weighed down by his controlling mother (Melissa Leo) and his now crack addicted brother Dicky. Things get heated as Micky falls for Charlene (Amy Adams) a saucy bartender who tries to convince Micky that his family is holding him back. Yep, it’s a roller coaster of emotions (and annoying Boston accents), that results in a whirlwind of laughs, tears, and cheers.
“Acting” (say it like James Lipton) is really what makes this overly familiar sports movie worth watching. Christian Bale sacrifices his physical appearance once again to play the edgy, drugged out, Dicky and all the award buzz is well deserved. Amy Adams, who’s always good is another standout, playing against type and Melissa Leo fits perfectly into the role of a pushy, Boston, mother. Mark Wahlberg plays well, Mark Wahlberg, which as far as I’m concerned is pitch perfect for this kind of movie. You just couldn’t ask for more in such a solid class, especially in a movie called “The Fighter.”
Already swept in awards fare, it’s hard to say how The Fighter will fare. Christian Bale seems to be the front runner for Best Supporting Actor, but who know’s if he’ll get that K.O. come February. All I know is that The Fighter is a rip-roaring good time, must be a helluva time to be from Massachusetts right now.