The Fighter (2010) – Review

The Fighter is the true story of two close brothers, Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and Dickie (Christian Bale). Dickie was once a professional welterweight and former champion whom of which now takes to cocaine regularly, while his brother, Micky, is a newcomer trained under Dickie’s knowledgeable boxing wing. However, the affect Dickie’s addiction has on their training leads to a devastating loss and with the help from Charlene Fleming (Amy Adams), Micky decides it best to leave the guidance of his brother and train in Vegas.

It is in Vegas where Micky has the best of opportunities and it is there that he begins to make a name for himself be it only this time through matches he has won. After a long, arduous, fight that would not have hailed victorious if not for the help of Dickie, Micky’s next fight is the championship fight.

 

 

 

 

In what has become a Hollywood cliché, The Fighter, is yet another boxing redemption piece. Be that as it may, it is a wonderful true story with “real”, believable, characters and inspiring heart. The entire cast elicit tremendous performances that appear almost as if the film itself were a home video recorded in the mid 1980’s. When together on screen they are a bittersweet family full of emotion and opinions to boot.

Christian Bale as the cocaine addicted Dicky Eklund is entirely worthy of praise and is all too deserving of a supporting-actor nod at this year’s Oscars. Bale is well-known for his commitment to his roles and once again he embodies that of a master-actor. Wahlburg, however, is nothing too spectacular. That is not to say his performance is bad, but it does fail to shine. To put it simply: Wahlburg’s performance is as perfectly satisfactory as it should be; nothing more, nothing less. His portrayal of the endearing Micky Ward manages to capture the audience’s heart while it silently cheers for him in the comfort of its own collective head.

The fights both in and out of the ring are frighteningly realistic, personal, and entertaining, pushing The Fighter into a special class of sports cinema. That said, the dialogue as plausible as it is can at times become tedious, out-of-hand, but such is Micky’s life.

The film’s focus between Micky and Dickie creates two separate, albeit linked, stories of redemption and remains indecisive as to which is of the more importance. Yes, their stories are of equal importance in a sense, but The Fighter makes everyone an enemy of Micky’s in one fashion or another while simultaneously allowing them their own opportunity toward absolution. What this results to is the slightly out-of-focus feel-good film of the year.

Alas, I find there a difficulty in critiquing a film of which is based on true events. Nevertheless, The Fighter is a great film. You’ll laugh, cry, cheer, and perhaps even be disturbed all the while you remain completely entertained.

8/10

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