The Fighter Reviews
If I had to pick something about it (besides the above) that does set it apart, it is the acting, but you probably may have that one figured out (unless you ignore reviews, the Oscars, or internet message boards). The odd thing here though, is that, even though this is about (part of) the story of Micky Ward, the supporting characters (especially Dicky), are such scene stealers and far more memorable, that you'd think the movie is really about them.
In a way, this is true. It's mostly about Micky, but more about the role of those aroudn Micky, and how they shape and affect his life, especially his crackhead brother Dicky, trashy, overbearing, selfish mother Alice, and his seven equally trashy sisters. Besides being an underdog story, this film shows the bond of family (no matter how messed up), as well as the effects of being washed up and addicted to drugs.
This is a story that could have been told all kinds of ways, and in David O. Russell's hands, it plays essentially like a docudrama. In fact, some of this is so well done and convincing that it seems closer to truth than fiction. It probably helps that locals are used to play themselves or people they know, and that this was all shot on location. Lowell, as shown here, is not really a place I wanna see anytime soon.
As I said already, the acting is great, Wahlberg is actually the most low-key and toned down. Maybe that's a good thing. It makes the character less interesting, but everyone else is so over the top and showy that we need a more subtle performance to anchor things. Leo and Bale are tremendous, and their Oscars were well deserved, but they may have laid it on just a tad too thick. Adams is also great, especially since she lays against type, and succeeds.
There's not a whole lot new here, but this is a really hard film to dislike, It's pretty solid, but not air tight. They could have made Ward a bit more interesting, and maybe included his trilogy of fights with Gatti, but apparently they are planning a sequel that will focus solely on just that, so there you go. This is very real, but maybe too real, too painful to watch at times. That's not to say that it's unwatchable though, because I certainly was never bored, and always found at least one thing to enjoy frame by frame.
Go check this out. I give it a B+
Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg star in this true story of an injured, crack addict ex-boxer who wants and needs to live vicariously through his younger brother by getting him to fight professionally. And he turns out to be good at it which in ways must bother Dickie(Bale) as much as he is proud to still be involved with that world.
I found the fights to be more realistic in this as opposed to what we're used to seeing in films because there is certainly nothing sophisticated about two individuals beating the hell out of each other. Sure there is technique involved, but that's what's going on when it all comes down to it.
Bale's performance is top notch; and he has come to my attention as one of the better under 40 actors working in the business at this time.
The best part of this film is the acting. Unbelievable! The three main supporting cast members give some of the best performances I have ever seen. They have to go down as one strongest supporting casts ever. I believe Christian Bale will finally receive his long overdue Oscar. His performance is simply incredible. He completely takes ownership of the role and simply disappears entirely into the character. His character changes so much throughout the film and no better actor could have delivered as affectively. I also loved Melissa Leo's performance. Absolutely stunning! She is so real and believable as the tough mother. Her performance is truly remarkable. I believe Melissa Leo will win the Oscar for best supporting actress, but it was Amy Adams that completely made this film for me. Her performance is phenomenal! She completely steals every scene. She flawlessly portrays the quiet but tough Charlene. This film shows Amy Adams at her best. She, too, will receive an Oscar nomination, hopefully the win. Also, her performance really allows Mark Wahlberg to shine as well. He gives a good performance, but the entire film is dominated by stellar supporting actors.
A thing that surprised me was the screenplay. The script is simply fantastic. It is so real, strong, and genuinely portrays what the people of the area and time would have been like. The script also has many humorous moments that were surprising, but absolutely perfect.
The Fighter is so much more than a typical sports or boxing film. It focuses more on relationships, family, and conflicts as opposed to the boxing.
I have to mention the final fight scene.....brilliant. The perfect ending to a great movie. After being blessed with the first 90 minutes of the film, we are treated by an awesome final boxing scene. Loved it!
Nominated for 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay, this is a brilliant film. Far better than Rocky and Raging Bull will ever be. This deserved every amount of praise it received. Props to Mark Wahlberg for pushing to create this film!
Absolutely loved it. One of my favorites!
Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg play characters that couldn't be any more opposite, and both do great things in their own ways with the roles given to them. Melissa Leo also makes a strong impression as the domineering mother, but really this is Bale's shining moment. Dicky the crack addict man baby shows some self-awareness beneath all the self aggrandizing. It's not a subtle role but aspects of it must be subtle to keep an element of surprise to the movie. It's a new take on a well-worn story, but the performances put this film a notch above most other films of it's class.