The Fighter

The Fighter is not a movie about boxing. It’s a movie about a family of fighters. And in this family there are two brothers who happen to be boxers.

Because there are a lot of clichés associated with boxing movies please forgive me and allow me to use some: The Fighter is a knockout! It packs a punch!

Simply put, The Fighter is the best movie I’ve seen this year.

The Fighter is the powerful true story of professional boxers Dickie ( Christian Bale) and Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg).

Although they are half brothers, their careers take very different courses. Older brother Dickie does not suffer from a shortage of talent confidence, but his lack of judgment and humility lead him down a path of self-destruction. After blowing his shot against one of the greatest fighters of his generation, Dickie descends down a dangerous road of drug addiction that robs him of his career, alienates his brother, and eventually lands him in jail.

Let me just say, if Christian Bale does not receive the Oscar for best supporting actor then why even hand out the award at all? His performance really is one of the best acting performances I’ve seen in years. He nails the role of a  “crack addict” and as compelling as he is to watch, at times, you also may find yourself wanting to turn away.

Everyone in this film deserves a nod for their work. From the people you’ve never heard of before, to all of Mickey and Dickey’s sisters with some of the best hair-dos on screen ever, to Melissa Leo (their mother) , to Amy Adams (smoking hot) playing a role that we’ve never seen her in and blowing down the doors on a whole new cinematic future for herself. Yes, everyone deserves a nod for their phenomenal work in this film.

There are three key scenes that are still burnt into my mind.

A scene where Mickey Ward (Wahlberg) hits another fighter with a shot to the kidneys that makes me wince just thinking about it. Yeah the fighting scenes are remarkable.

A second scene involves Mickey and Dickey warming up for “the big fight.” They are standing in a dark hallway, shadowy  silhouettes illuminated only by faint light creeping in from the sold out arena. Ward is practicing his punches while Dickey holds out his hands as targets. It’s a perfectly shot scene that, if frozen, would make an awesome photograph that I’d want blown-up, framed and hanging in my living room.

And thirdly, if the speech that Bale gives to Wahlberg during his final fight don’t bring a tear to your eye then I deem you a heartless bastard.

Go see it. You’ll love it. I promise.

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