Movie Review: THE FIGHTER (2010)

Published by Shah Shahid on

There have been some really great boxing movies back in the day. It’s really a genre that’s spawned some great classics. However, more recently an amazing movie that dealt with boxing happened to take the industry by storm. Usually these types of ‘endearing’ films are slow, boring and a lotta talk. And if you know my Blog, you know how I’m not one for the slow and talky stuff. However, I was there every step of the way with THE FIGHTER, cheering, jeering, fist pumping and even weaving side to side with the in ring action.

Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Stars

Enter fiesty and fiery girlfriend of Micky played by Amy Adams. Charlene injects a whole lotta confidence into Micky who stands up and takes control of his career and takes it to new heights together with the help of his step father and some well wishers.

Christian Bale is freakin’ perfect as always as the brother who loves his younger bro, but can’t get out of his own 15 minutes of fame years ago. A shell of a man, Bale plays Dicky to perfection, making us hate him, but also feel sympathetic for him. Even though the film starts off as Micky’s story… it rounds off as a fully developed film with angles that affect every character, even the ones who start out as the antagonists. There is no clear cut ‘villain’ or cliche’d conflict in THE FIGHTER either. Initially the mother and brother worked to Micky’s detriment, but in the end, it’s Dicky and his love for his struggling younger brother that is not only able to bring him out of his desparate addiction, but even be a strong pillar for Micky.

A role that apparently Mark Wahlberg has been waiting for 10 years to do, THE FIGHTER is a great story that happens mostly outside the ring, but there are amazing in ring moments as well. Like I said, boxing films have been done to death, but THE FIGHTER has a very unique approach to the in-ring boxing moments. The shots are featured as HBO boxing specials from way back when, complete with the hand held shots, the grainy texture, sync sound, on screen graphics et al. The commentators play by play takes precedance over the character’s dialogues. The action is even replayed, just like it would be on live TV. Add to that the feature of parts of the movie being shown with a film crew shooting Dicky as part of a Addiction documentary, and you have a narrative style which really works to enhance the over all film. Awesome, fuckin’ awesome.

Needless to say that Bale and Wahlberg both perform exceptionally well. However it’s Amy Adams that provides the game changer; being an outspoken, foul mouthed girl that comes along to boost Micky’s life. Her performance is very in your face, and really takes her away from the sweet and innocent roles she’s done prior to this.

brotherly love…

Director David O. Russel outdoes himself from his previous work (some of which are my favourites like THREE KINGS & I HEART HUCKABEES) with this exceptional film which can be categorized as a genre boxing movie, but works more as an emotional drama that goes beyond your typical underdog sport movie.

THE FIGHTER is exceptional not due to any of the directorial execution, visual style or even the performances…. but the screenplay. The story of one man’s rise, and his family’s contribution (despite how delayed the support was) is what makes this a great movie.

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Shah Shahid

Entertainment Writer | Film & TV Critic | Bollywood Blogger | Host of Split Screen Podcast | Proud Geek Girl Dad


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