Friday, December 31, 2010

The Fighter

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, Amy Adams, and Jack McGee

Directed by David O. Russell

Release Date: December 10th, 2010

A tale of overcoming advesary, The Fighter is a tale of "Irish" Micky Ward living in the shadow of older brother Dicky Eklund, whose claim to fame is knocking down "Sugar" Ray Leonard. For nearly 10 years, Micky (Wahlberg) has been coached by brother Dicky (Bale) and managed by his mother Alice (Leo). Soon, Micky is tired of the neglect and abuse from his mother and the mismanagement by his brother due to Dicky's addiction to crack cocaine. When Dicky goes to prison, it becomes clear that Micky's one chance to turn his career and life around, he's got to take it despite the accusations and hurt feelings. In the end, both Micky and Dicky have to fight to change for the better.

More of a character story than a traditional boxing story, The Fighter is an emotionally gripping story with an amazing cast. First of all, Christian Bale is staggeringly fantastic as Dicky, making the character the egotist he was and a sympathetic figure to his addictive personality and shortcomings in life. Bale is so charming and likeable that it it becomes clear why Dickie is such the celebrity he was in Lowell, Mass., and why he and his family get hit so hard by the tragedy of his crack addiction seen in a documentary made by HBO. Mark Wahlberg (after the critically panned roles in The Happening and The Lovely Bones) does a commendable job as Micky Ward. Wahlberg gives the audience a symapethic character that the audience can relate to, as Micky is beset by family dramas and his less than stellar boxing record. Finally, there are the supporting actresses, Melissa Leo as Alice Eklund and Amy Adams as Charlene Fleming, Ward's girlfriend. Both actress give stellar performances, Leo as a coniving, greedy manager who praises Dicky above all else, and Adams is great as Charlene, the tough girlfriend willing to fight Alice and Micky's 6 abrasive sisters.

The Fighter is a great drama with commendable boxing sequences. For Oscar Season 2010, you've got to see Christian Bale's Best Actor Nominated role as Dicky Eklund.

Rating: * * * * 1/2 of 5

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