The Fighter (2010)

The Fighter follows Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and his brother Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale) in their early years in Lowell Massachusetts during the early 1980’s leading up to Micky going Pro.  The movie is an absolute work of acting art.  Christian Bale, known for his roles in The Dark Night (2008), Terminator Salvation (2009) plays Dicky Eklund a washed up crack addicted fighter who is training his brother Micky Ward, known for Shooter (2007), The Lovely Bones (2009) to become a pro boxer.  The movie screams acting excellence and a story that is both heart wrenching and adrenaline surging.

The story follows Micky Ward’s early years as he trains to become a better boxer with his brother Dicky Eklund, who seems to be placing his attention towards other things such as crack.  Dicky had once been the pride of Lowell Massachusetts but has since sunk down to drug addiction.  After a fight ends in disappointment for Micky he turns to Charlene Flemming (Amy Adams) for support and love.  He finds where his loyalties lie after his brother is arrested and him in turn for defending him against a rather abusive group of police officers. When Micky emerges from jail he puts fighting on the back burner until he receives and offer for a new manager.  He picks his gloves back up and gets back into the ring eventually fighting his way up to a title shot.  His family, friends and trainers have to learn to get along and put their differences aside if they want Micky of having any chance of winning because he’ll need them all in his corner.

As I said before the acting is absolutely superb.  Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale both show their abilities to create believable and beautifully flawless characters.   Christian Bale plays a wonderful drug addict both by losing weight to make his appearance believable and making beautifully executed actions and emotions when he is high without actually doing any drugs.  Mark plays a wonderful brother and amazing boxer, he acts as a loving father trying to make the best of a situation that his him on the short end.  Both actors in my opinion have a chance at winning a best actor award.

Going into this film I expected to find a lot of cheesy knockouts and poor boxing choreography.  I was sadly mistaken.  Aside from a few slow motion punches and knockouts the boxing was done wonderfully.  It seemed very realistic, none of the punch for punch with no blocking like traditional fighting movies are done, completely unrealistic to any real boxing.  The punches felt real and sounded real, almost as if they were trading punches live on HBO.  They danced in the ring just as any other professional boxer would do and played as if they had a real strategy to defeating their opponent.  Any true boxer or boxing fan would have believed these fights.

This movie was beautifully made and the acting brilliant.  Any boxing movie fan should definitely see this movie or anyone else who loved heart felt underdog realistic movies.  The fact that it is based on a true story should help the believability of the story even more.   This is a movie I would recommend to anyone aside from children due to the language and some sexuality.

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