The Fighter

The Fighter  (115 min)          

This movie is as real as it gets; the family in the main role is as dysfunctional as it gets. The acting is as good as it gets with outstanding performances by both Mark Wahlberg as the main character trying to make it in boxing, as well as Christian Bale, who is playing the former champion boxer turned crack addict. Boy and does he plays the role marvelously, most likely the best acting job I have seen out of Christian Bale since American Psycho. Wahlberg is great in the way that he quietly, yet forcefully plays the role. He seems to be in the background behind others while still being the main character and still having the most impact in the movie with his decisions and actions. The movie is one of those typical underdog stories of a boxer who is just trying to be someone following in the shadow of his success of an older brother. But is his brother really the raging success that the whole town sees him as? We find out later that his life of late is consumed with his addiction to drugs. Wahlberg plays the guy trying to make it. Amy Adams plays the girl who is interested. She plays her role with such gusto and force that you would think they could make a movie about her. She wants Wahlberg’s character, Mickey, all to herself, but she has to fight through a very determined and protective mother played by Melisa Leo and her 7 daughters. Mickey is managed poorly I might add, by his overprotective mother and trained by his step brother Dicky (Bale), who seems to want to help Mickey, but also seem to not want him to be great or at least as great as his brother Dicky. Dicky is the town and the family hero. Mickey wants to be something as good or better than his brother, but it seems he cannot do it with the management he has now in his mom and brother as he is losing most of his fights. He must break through that family barrier to become great or at least he does at first until he realizes he actually needs them. Through all this comes a lot of drama with the mom not being able to let go and the drug addict son, Dicky, getting involved in some trouble with the police. Furthermore Amy’s character, Charlene, does not let go of Mickey and wants to take him away from his family to gain his success. What is great about this dramatic film is that even though the story is typical, the director David O. Russell, also the director of the greatly acclaimed film “The Wrestler”, which also has a similar story of an underdog comeback, makes it his own and makes it almost original. It is so well put together with acting, directing and storyline and how it is portrayed through a shaky camera lens, while most times annoying and unnecessary in movies, was more of a factor in making it more realistic, making it necessary. It is really dramatic in the way that it realistically shows a very dysfunctional family, but through it all the movie ends up being a movie of great inspiration of an underdog who makes something of himself and of family togetherness in that no matter the struggles the family went through, they persevered through it all with love and compassion driving the way for each other. “The Fighter” is rated R for language throughout, drug content, some violence and sexuality.

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