THE FIGHTER Movie Review
Every year, you read on countless movie billboards that this movie or that movie is THE movie of the year. Well, please note that every time you read that, it was a horrible lie because I have seen the movie of the year and it is called THE FIGHTER.
As part of the AFI FEST 2010, I had the opportunity to attend a screening of The Fighter which stars Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, & Melissa Leo. It tells the true story of a young boxer ‘Irish’ Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg), who is struggling to make a career for himself while being coached by his former boxing champ/crackhead brother Dicky (Christian Bale), and being managed by his tough but deluded mother Alice (Melissa Leo). After a string of challenges, Micky, with the help of his new “I take no shit from no one” girlfriend Charlene (Amy Adams) takes charge of his life, and goes on a life altering course that changes not only himself, but everyone around him.
The Fighter has it all. An intelligent story, a fast paced and realistic dialogue, and fight scenes that make you think you are watching a real boxing match live. Unlike most Hollywood movies, all of this happens in an unpretentious manner and is grounded in realism. You will laugh, tear up and root for the characters in this movie. This movie is what Rocky should have been.
Each actor brings their A game to their roles in The Fighter. Mark Walhberg, in one of his best performances to date, is brilliant as this confused but profoundly decent fighter, who is just trying to make everyone in his life happy. Amy Adams is riveting as a no nonsense bartender who can brawl when needed. Do I even have to mention the always talented Melissa Leo who delivers a jaw dropping portrayal of a matriarch, who loves her children a bit too much sometimes. All of them pale in comparison to Christian Bale’s performance of drug-addled Dicky, which will make you laugh, cry and feel every emotion in between. The man can act. Period.
From the first to the last frame, The Fighter will expose you to what a real movie of the year is all about. You have to go see it when it comes out in theaters on December 17th ( Limited Release starts December 10th). When you do go, take everyone you know and ask them to take everyone they know. My secret and unrealistic hope is that The Fighter beats Avatar so we can continue seeing more movies like this and less movies like Avatar.
You can read all our coverage of The Fighter here.