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The Fighter

David O. Russell's 2010 film chronicling the rise of an up and coming boxer and his drug addict ex-boxer brother.

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Hollywood had a true story of someone that did not BECAME SOMEONE but ACHIEVED SOMETHING.

  • Jan 8, 2011

This biopic is not only a film about boxing but also an in-depth description of a suburban family. As the title says, the story is developed around Micky Ward's (Mark Wahlberg) professional career as a welterweight boxer and the personal issues that he had to face during his chase for success. I would like to mention though another fighter because I had the feeling that I witnessed two fighters struggling for their personal merit and that is Micky's brother, the former welterweight boxer, Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale).

Mark Wahlberg plays Micky Ward, a boxer who lives in his brother's shadow. He struggles to find his mental and physic balance to achieve great things professionally but has a hard time "thanks" to his family. Although he is ambitions and strong, he has a weakness for his family. He is close to his brother, Dicky, he listens to his mother Alice, which is also manager and he loves Charlene, a girl he met up in a bar. Being emotionally too much involved he has a hard time dealing with everyone. Alice, played extraordinary by Melissa Leo, is a garrulous mother, egocentric and irascible person, jealous and actually possessive. Amy Adams plays Charlene, a more educated and reasonable girl who devotes herself and spends all her energy trying to make Micky get on his track and regain his confidence after a couple of losses. Jack McGee plays Micky's father, George Ward, a more calmer and thoughtful person than anyone under Ward's roof.

The pinnacle of this movie however is Christian Bale's impersonation of Dicky Eklund. Dicky is a guy who lives in the past, building his whole life on one fight he had 14 years ago with Sugar Ray Leonard. He becomes a social mess by diving into the world of drugs and creating conflicts from mediocre situations. Because he is his brother's personal hero his positive influence and his training methods become easily affected by his negativity and his lousy character. Bale's performance is a colossal achievement this year and definitely deserves an academy award because not only he adapted his accent and behavior but he also managed to adapt his physical portrayal, his physical gestures. He is solely unrecognizable as Bale but only as Dicky. Not only these characters seem to have nothing in common so fights obviously would break but you have to see these other figures which are Micky's siblings, all sisters. They all act like a bunch of sheep or oompa-loompas trolling around the house making things more crazy than they already are. These character problems are part of the suburban environment they all grew up. Without a proper education and a social solid structure they will manage to reveal at some point more of the worst than the best. Now, I said in the beginning that I saw Dicky as being a fighter also. That is correct because thanks to Dicky's good will and ambition we see him fight his condition and return from jail (because that's where he ends up some time in the story) to help his brother become one thing he never was: a champion.

Technically the movie has its ups and downs. I didn't really enjoy that much the fighting scenes. I think they could have presented them in a different way. Other than that, it is pretty well edited, good cinematography involved but I kinda felt the lack of music. There is melody and there are songs chosen as backgrounds for training or for a certain fight but other than that it's a pretty technical flat film. I think the director and the crew concentrated more on the story and the acting than on the technical details and that served out to be a very good thing to do.

I don't have to say nothing at the end but to thank Dicky's struggle, to thank Charlene for her affection and advices she gave and to ultimately thank Micky's ambition and heart because now Hollywood had a true story of someone that did not BECAME SOMEONE but ACHIEVED SOMETHING. After all, you could become someone but are you guaranteed you'll achieve something?

Storyline/Dialogue: 9/10.
Acting: 10/10.
Art Direction: 7,5/10.
Cinematography/Editing: 8/10.
Score/Soundtrack: 7/10.
Overall: 8,8

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January 09, 2011
Nice review. What I had mixed feelings with, was the fact that Dicky's charater was just much more well-written than Micky's, I know he had a more interesting core but Walhberg was limited to a few dramatic scenes. Bale stole the show in this one! Thanks!
More The Fighter (2010 film) reviews
review by . December 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A Fight To Win In Life and in The Boxing Ring!
   Sports dramas that channel an inspiring ‘underdog’ story. It is pretty cliché nowadays in the halls of filmmaking. Well, director David O. Russell’s “The Fighter” stems from cliché but then again, sometimes real life is all about cliché. It centers on the real-life story of Irish boxer Micky Ward and his half-brother Dickie Eklund. This film is the third collaboration between Russell and Wahlberg, the first two being “Three Kings” …
review by . January 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Around the end of the year one of the things that typically happens is you get a lot of good... but boring movies.  The end of 2010 wasn't like this really.  Most of the movies driving for the Oscar actually entertained.  Usually far too many get themselves far too concerned with being artistic and intellectual.  Which is actually well and good, but they always miss the mark in terms of entertainment.  The Fighter does another turn around by being a film that isn't …
review by . February 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Mark Wahlberg stars as Micky "Irish" Ward, a young man seemingly going no where in Lowell, MA. but with a dream of becoming the next boxing welterweight champion of the world.    He's managed by his mother and his brother. Christian Bale plays Micky's brother. In the film Bale has a drug habit and constantly lets his brother down, not showing up for fights and scheduling fights with fighters who are inappropriate for Micky. Eventually, Bale is arrested and sent to jail.    Du …
review by . January 01, 2011
THE FIGHTER may be based on a true story, but that doesn't mean that much of the skeleton of its plot doesn't feel like a rehash of Hollywood clichĂ©s. Struggling blue-collar guy from a dysfunctional family gains a shot, late in life, at boxing glory. Various obstacles get in his way, but with the love of a good woman and some unconventional training & methods…he gets his shot at the title. It's the kind of plot that would not normally get my blood pumping in anticipation.     But …
review by . April 16, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     David O. Russell hasn't made a good film since "Three Kings", which isn't saying too much considering there was only one other film between that one and "The Fighter", and it was called "I Heart Huckabees". I was not pleased with that film, and I didn't think it functioned well enough to be a true "David O. Russell film". Now here is what I would call a "David O. Russell film", and I say that with the utmost respect. Here it is, the film that everyone has …
review by . January 22, 2011
This was an absolutely wonderful film. I was absolutely floored by it even though I saw it with two people who were less than thrilled to be there. The performances were top-notch and this would be on my Best Movies I Saw in 2010 list if I didn't see this in 2011. Like The King's Speech, this is the perfect Oscar formula and that's sure to pay off come awards time. First of all, the Academy has often had a thing for uplifting dramas (whether or not they pertain to sports) and secondly, …
review by . December 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
As is the case with many inspirational sports movies, “The Fighter” uses physical competition as a metaphor for emotional competition. It’s based on the true story of Lowell, Massachusetts boxer “Irish” Micky Ward, who went pro in 1985, went on hiatus after losing four consecutive fights in 1990, and then made a comeback that lasted from 1997 until his retirement in 2003. His final match was a trilogy of fights with Arturo Gatti, but all events in the film lead up to …
review by . December 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Now that's what I call a fight!
THE FIGHTER   Written by Eric Johnson, Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy   Directed by David O. Russell   Starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo       Before a boxer sets foot in any ring, he most likely has a plan of attack in place.  If he is serious about what he does, he has studied his opponent; he knows his strategies, his weaknesses.  A great boxer is in control of the game even when it seems like he might …
review by . March 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The Fighter Will Keep You Interested, Just Like Rocky Did.
It is not too often lately that my wife and I  get a chance to see a movie, so when this came to our local theater we decided to take the night off from school work and just plain work. So, if you liked the movie Rocky then you will love this true story, The Fighter is rated "R" and lasts for just a shade under two hours. This movie starring Mark Wahlberg who portrays Micky Ward, who's rise to stardom mimics the Rocky movies a little bit. Micky goes through all of the trials and …
review by . April 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
“The Fighter” plays like “Rocky” set in the same neighborhood as “Gone Baby Gone;” indeed, Ben Affleck ought to watch this film to understand why his first film was so much better than his most recent one, “The Town.” I’ve mentioned before that lower-class, Irish-Catholic Boston has become fertile ground for cinema the last few years, and “The Fighter” can take its place alongside “Mystic River,” “The Departed” …
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Julian Left ()
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Member Since: Nov 4, 2010
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About this movie


The Fighter
is an upcoming film directed by David O. Russell and executive produced by Darren Aronofsky, starring Mark Wahlberg. The film centers on the life of professional boxer "Irish" Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and his older brother Dickie Eklund (Christian Bale). Amy Adams has also been confirmed as a love interest of Ward. The film is set to be released worldwide in theaters on December 10, 2010. The film is Russell and Wahlberg's third film collaboration, following Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees.
Darren Aronofsky was previously attached to direct before David O. Russell. Both Matt Damon and Brad Pitt were also once attached to play Dick Eklund before the role went to Christian Bale.  Bale has reportedly been training for the role. About the film, he said, "It’s a true story of two incredibly gifted boxers who were half brothers. The one, Dicky Ecklund, who fought Sugar Ray Leonard at a very young age, when he was twenty-one, was an incredible natural talent. He lived a very hard life. Then he came to train his brother, Irish Mickey Ward, to the world title." Wahlberg also trained for two years for the role of Mickey Ward. A trailer was released on September 15, 2010.
Filming began in July 2009 in Lowell, Massachusetts and was completed by September. Filming continued at Paramount in April 2010 for final additional scenes.
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Director: David O. Russell
Genre: Drama, Sport
Release Date: Dec. 10, 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Paul Attanasio
Runtime: 115 minutes
Studio: Paramount Pictures Corp.
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