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Walhberg spent 5 years in training but Bale steals the show,
This review is from: The Fighter [DVD] (DVD)
The Fighter is the true story of Micky Ward (Played by Mark Wahlberg - Shooter) a Massachusetts raised boxer who has spent his entire life in the shadow of his older half-brother - Dicky Eklund (played by Christian Bale - The Machinist) who once went toe-to-toe with 'Sugar' Ray Leonard and even knocked him down - probably. Micky is managed and trained by his overbearing Mother and now crack-addicted brother and begins to think that it isn't his capacity as a boxer that is holding him back, it's having to carry his family around. When Micky meets Charlene (Amy Adams) she gives him the courage & inspiration to stride out on his own and try for the welterweight title.
Draped in a true story, the Fighter is an epic 'against-the-odds' story of a working class hero. The Fighter is well acted, with both of the protagonists going through some pretty extreme physical regimes to play the welterweight boxer and crack-addict former boxer, it's all very convincing but given that Wahlberg is from a working-class Massachusetts family, it's not much of a stretch for him as he fits the role perfectly. More impressive is Bale's dedication to the role of Dicky, slimming down massively and learning Micky's distinctive Boston-drawl to play a very touching role of a man fallen from glory who's very existence is defined by a single moment in his past "I knocked down Sugar-Ray dontcha know?". The supporting cast are all very capable, especially Micky's mother who doubles up as his manager and his venomous gaggle of gossip sisters.
Whilst almost all boxing movies are compared to a Rocky this has a pretty minimal amount of boxing in it and really can't be. The final fight will have you on the edge of your seat as you will Micky to win the title, but by-and-large, the main dynamic of the film is Micky struggling with his brother whom he can't be without, his mother and his love-life. It's an honestly touching story and I ended up really feeling for the characters - it's that well directed by David O. Russell. The soundtrack is fantastic as well. So it's a great film and has won or been nominated for a slew of industry awards - the majority of which are Best Supporting Actor for Bale's performance of Dicky - this has to be to the chagrin of Wahlberg who ushered this from a script all the way to this cinematic epic.