The Fighter – Not a Knockout

The Fighter tells the true story of welterweight boxer Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), trained by his older half-brother Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale) and managed by his mother Alice Ward (Melissa Leo). For a while things get really bad for Micky, then they get better and then he gets a shot at the world welterweight title. If you’ve seen one underdog boxing movie, you’ve seen them all.

The Fighter is nothing special, just another everyday boxing movie. If you are really into boxing movies or biographical sports dramas then I’d imagine that The Fighter is a great film for you. I am not really a big fan of boxing films in general, so The Fighter didn’t really do anything for me.

The movie isn’t actually bad, it just wasn’t especially good. The fight scenes are not the most excitingly shot sequences that I have ever seen in a boxing film, but they feel more realistic than a lot of other boxing sequences. The writing is solid enough, the family drama works. The drama with Micky’s family gets to be a little hard to watch at times, some of his family members can be very annoyingly stubborn, but it’s all part of the story. Dicky’s character hits his all-time low when he is incarcerated, this makes his return from prison and his role in helping Micky make it to the final fight all the more triumphant. The lower you get, the greater the climb. As I said, the drama works.

Christian Bale’s performance as the once successful boxer Dicky Eklund who has turned to crack cocane feels reasonably real. Bale alters his body mass for the part, which is always impressive to observe. Wahlberg, Leo and Adams all stick to their roles and play them out well. It’s always to watch a movie all the way through without having to flinch at hearing a single weakly delivered line.

I don’t think I will be re-watching this film again and again, I doubt it will become an immortal classic, but it’s an acceptable way to lose two hours.