True story, boxing-drama with a stellar cast including Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams. Directed by David O. Russell (Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees).... More
Follows working-class boxer "Irish" Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and his unlikely road to the World Light Welterweight title. Ward started off 14 and 0 in his professional career but, after a stretch of defeats in the early '90s, he quit. Three years later he returned with a vengeance, winning nine straight fights. His Rocky-like rise was shepherded by half-brother Dicky (Bale, in an Oscar and Golden Globe winning performance), a boxer-turned-trainer who rebounded in life after being KO'd by drugs and crime. Set and shot in Lowell, Massachusetts.Hide
On Demand, DVD & Blu-Ray
Available from 3 providers
BY Flicks Writer
This is great stuff. Following the true story of Massachusetts’ welterweight Micky Ward’s road to glory, The Fighter is as interested in the family drama as it is the boxing. There’s no shortage of it as Micky (Mark Wahlberg) finds himself in the middle of an emotionally charged family hell-bent on interfering with his life and career. This support cast is exceptional: the fiery girlfriend (Adams), overbearing mum (Melissa Leo), caught-in-the-hurricane dad (Jack McGee) and a flock of bizarre, squawking sisters (seven of them).... More
Christian Bale plays Dickie, Ward’s crack-addicted brother, a former boxer who once knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard (or did Leonard trip over? Depends on your point of view). His wild, hilarious performance brilliantly captures a man with a veneer of staunch pride and a stack of insecurities underneath. Watching him and Wahlberg’s Micky, a big-hearted dreamer, is the year’s first real highlight for me.
The filmmaker and the material were always going to be intriguing bedfellows – David O. Russell’s fantastic earlier movies are controversial (Three Kings) and philosophical (I Heart Huckabees) – whereas this is straight, classic sports drama. The match-up works thanks to Russell’s taste for the unusual. He finds new blood in well-tread fare with moments of hilarity, realism in the ring and outstanding performances.
On its way to the inevitable big bout, The Fighter dallies with schmaltz but is always compelling and it earns its uplifting finale. Plus, the fights are awesome.Hide
The Peoples' Reviews
Your rating & reviewRate / Review this movie
Rate and/or review
BY adamatdramatrain superstar
BY Allo2JasonIsaacs lister
A cliched, paint-by-numbers underdog boxing flick, saved from mediocrity by an excellent off-the-wall and hyped up, but overly studied, Christian Bale. A fine, understated performance by Wahlberg, but his character isn't strong enough and I wasn't invested in him for a finale that just goes through the motions. For a real knockout watch The Boxer for Day Lewis's extraordinary intensity inside and out the ring.
BY Prof_Moriarty nobody
It?s Micky?s story that attracted actor-producer Mark Wahlberg to make The... More Fighter. He spent four years training to play this quiet warrior surrounded by the noise of conflict. This immersive marvel of a movie resembles Micky?s left hook in the way it sneaks up and floors you. For Wahlberg, it?s a labour of love ? hard labour.
When The Wrestler?s Darren Aronofsky passed on directing, Wahlberg brought on David O. Russell, the sparking live wire who guided him through two of his best performances, in Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees.
After Matt Damon and Brad Pitt turned down the role of crackhead Dickie, Wahlberg lucked out big-time with Christian Bale. To watch these two dynamite actors spar is one of the purest pleasures of the movie.
I have one word for Bale: phenomenal. He dropped 30 pounds [almost 14kgs] to play the skinny, loose-limbed, demon-driven Dickie. But his hilarious and heartbreaking performance cuts deep under the surface. Bale?s eyes reflect the man Micky grew up hero-worshipping as ?the pride of Lowell? who might find that pride again as Micky?s trainer.
Wahlberg?s approach to Micky is appropriately and artfully lower-key. He?s the soul of the movie, showing how Micky shapes himself as a man who can take on a champion like Arturo Gatti, and his own family.
Russell and cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema stage the fights thrillingly, without losing sight that the real ring of fire for Micky has been drawn by mom Alice (a spectacular Melissa Leo -- rivals nature as a force) and Micky?s seven sisters.
The scene in which Micky brokers his own truce with Charlene and Dickie is a highlight for the film and the actors.
The Fighter, its heart full to bursting, is an emotional powerhouse that comes close to spilling over. No sweat. Like Micky, this is a warrior?s movie that rises to the bell.Hide
BY Morgan-Maskell lister
However, the film spends way too much time on family drama outside of the boxing. It is an episode of Brothers & Sisters, except in Boston.
The characters are largely very stereotypical. In spite of this, Christian Bale pulls off yet another fantastic performance to go along with The Machinist, The Prestige, The Dark... More Knight, Batman Begins and his best of all, American Psycho - along with others.
It seemed like the film would rather focus on family drama within their homes and the relationships of everyone, and didn't seem to care about the boxing. This resulted in almost two different films, one about the relationships of people in and around this family and another about a boxer and his family's impact on his career.
Aside from Bale, performances were commendable, but I don't see why Leo is the front-runner for an oscar. Aside from looking nothing like they normally do, Melissa Leo and Amy Adam's acting weren't fantastic.
It lacked direction and purpose - however a very strong third act and fantastic boxing finale (which should have been what the film was about) leads to many leaving the cinema thinking that this film was better than it was. Unfortunately it had too many issues to be great.
6/10 - 3 StarsHide
Showing 5 of 12 reviews. See all reviews