Thursday, January 27, 2011
Movie Review: "The Fighter"
Two brothers. First there is Dickie, a crack addict, who just also happens to be a washed up fighter, now trainer for his younger brother, who is boxer "Irish" Micky Ward. Then, there is Micky, a boxer who must battle his own family before he can become a legend in the ring. The Fighter is a familial drama with some sports in it, but like all of the greatest boxing movies, it is when the characters are outside of the ring that the movie wins one over.
Micky's family is what one would call a convoluted battle of the wills. They do not take too kindly to outsiders, or doing things outside of the family, so it is no wonder that neither Dickie, Micky, nor their sisters are married, and you'll fully understand this when you meet their domineering mother, Alice, played to crisp perfection by Melissa Leo. Adding to the strain is Charlene, Micky's new girlfriend, played exceptionally well by Amy Adams, who sees the potential in Micky to be something great, but he must first overcome his family and become his own man if he is to be champion. Actor Mark Whalberg is the heart-and-soul of the movie as Micky Ward, and what more can anyone say about Christian Bale's no holds barred performance as Dickie. This movie is an actor's showcase, featuring some of the best acting you will see in a longtime, and I think a lot of the credit should go to director, David O. Russell.
Russell shoots everything very naturally, there is a flow to it, like the human observer watching these things unfold rather than him intentionally leading us by the hand and manipulating us like so many sports movies have done. I've gotta say, the fight scenes filmed like HBO fights on television was a brilliant choice, not to mention the opening credits when Micky and Dickie walk like kings through the streets of their hometown of Lowell, Mass., these and so many other scenes are just some of the more finely crafted scenes to be projected on the big screen in a long time. In the end, the movie still manages to be uplifting and makes you wanna cheer Micky on, but you don't feel as if you were watching characters, but real people persevere and simply live, that is The Fighter's strong suit, and it is better for it.
I give The Fighter an A+!