'The Fighter' chronicles the early career of the junior welterweight boxer Micky Ward. He is most famous among boxing fans for his legendary bouts with Arturo Gatti. I feel that sports movies have the highest risk of being hit or miss. Majority of them have the tendency of having a generic inspirational underdog rising to the top storyline without much substance or character development. On that note, 'The Fighter' is not your typical sports movie.
Micky Ward (Mark Walberg) is in a slump. A losing streak and an unreliable management has him questioning his will to continue fighting. Ward is embarrassed of being seen as a stepping stone for his opponents and frustrated with lack of support from his mother (Melissa Leo) and half brother (Christian Bale). His mother seems more interested in making a profit than getting the best fights for his career. His half-brother, Dicky is a former boxer who earned his nickname as the the 'Pride of Lowell' by going the distance with Sugar Ray Leonard. Dicky is addicted to crack and is in no condition to train his brother properly. When Micky is at his lowest point, his new girlfriend (Amy Adams) convinces him to turn his life around by starting fresh without his family dragging him down. With a new direction and motivation in his life, Micky is focused to attempt a last run at becoming a champion before it is too late.
'The Fighter' has an authentic drama quality that separates it from typical sports movies. It really draws you into the lives of these characters from a tough New England neighborhood and makes you care about them. Christian Bale really steals the show with his convincing portrayal of Dicky. Whenever he is on screen, it is impossible to take your eyes off of him. I dare you to not look at him. You'll be asking yourself, "What happened to batman?" Bale really shows his range as an actor. He seems like a strong favorite to win an Oscar as the Best Supporting Actor. I also thought Amy Adams was deserving of her nomination for Best Supporting Actress. (By the way, Kim Hye Ja really deserved an oscar nomination for 'Mother') 'The Fighter' is a very well made inspirational movie with heart of a champion (you like how I used a sports metaphor there?). Simply labeling it as a sports movie does not give this movie the proper praise it deserves. Do you think it has a good shot at winning the best picture?
#IMDB-8.2/10 (#211 on Top 250)
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics-89% Audience-90%
Yong's Rating- 4/5 Stars (highly recommended)
*I've decided to go to a five star rating system, rather than 10 pt system. Why? it's easier and more simple.