The Fighter

Sounds like a boxing film, doesn’t it? In fact this (loosely-based-on-a-true) story focuses less on blood spray and more on the working-class family comedy-drama behind Micky Ward’s path to a light welterweight title fight.

Micky (Mark Wahlberg) is the younger half-brother of local hero Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale), a former boxer who once fought Sugar Ray Leonard but later threw in the towel against crack cocaine. Micky has a horrendous manager, who’s also his mother, and about 18 harpie half-sisters. Dicky is his trainer. Micky keeps losing. Then he finds love (Amy Adams) and the balls to dump his management team.

Wahlberg is 10 years too old for this role and to play the downtrodden little bro (especially as he’s older than Bale in real life). But he has the physique and enough acting talent to make up for that. Bale is great, and Adams bravely dirties up her Disney princess looks to play the tough broad. Nicely shot, and unexpectedly amusing. 8/10

Released January 27, 2011

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