Hey guys, welcome back to another movie review! Today I’ll be reviewing a film that I’ve seen just recently and that movie is The Fighter. I’ve seen this film for the very first time and personally I enjoyed the movie. I’ve had this movie in my movie shelf for quite some time so I recently decided it was the right time to watch it.
The Fighter is a 2010 film directed by David O. Russell which stars Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo, and Jack McGee. Before I get into what the film is about, I will say this movie is my favorite David O. Russell film. I’ve seen a few David O. Russell films in the past like Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle. But after seeing The Fighter recently, I personally prefer this as my favorite David O. Russell movie. Don’t get me wrong I liked Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle but I just thought The Fighter is his best film in my opinion.
The Fighter is about a boxer named Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg) who is managed by his mother Alica Ward (Melissa Leo) and trained by his half-brother Dickey Ecklund (Christian Bale). Throughout the entire film, Mickey Ward is like the underdog. He goes through rough obstacles but he eventually makes it through the top to win the World Championship. Dickey Ecklund used to be a boxer whose career was at its peak when he fought another boxer named Sugar Ray Leonard back at 1978. However unfortunately his rise to fame didn’t last too long because he got addicted to crack cocaine. HBO has been filming him recently and Dickey believes this might be his “comeback” that they are filming. In the first act of the film, Mickey has a fight against an opponent but due to him being sick, Mickey has to fight a replacement. But the replacement boxer weighs more than he does and that’s a huge deal in boxing. Mickey loses the fight and he feels ashamed and feels bad about himself. He got beaten badly so he decides to stop boxing for a while. In the meantime he begins a relationship with a bartender named Charlene Fleming who dropped out of college. Their relationship gradually gets better for them but Mickey’s mom and her sisters do not like Charlene since they think she is causing Mickey to be unmotivated to fight. Eventually, Mickey gets an offer to be trained and be paid in Las Vegas but due to Alice and Dickey disapproving, he agrees to remain with them. Meanwhile Dickey tries to get free cash by having his girlfriend pose as a prostitute and impersonate a police officer once she gets a client. That way she can steal the client’s money. However things doesn’t go as planned and Dickey gets arrested. Mickey was actually nearby and he tries to stop the beating the cops was giving Dickey. Mickey’s hand gets broken while this happened and both actually get arrested. Mickey gets released but Dickey has to be in jail for quite some time. HBO finally airs the film about Dickey and everyone tunes in. But to Dickey’s shock, it’s not about his “comeback”. It’s actually about Dickey’s crack addiction and how it affected his career. Dickey feels ashamed and decides to straighten his life out in prision. Mickey’s dad George (Jack McGee) convinces him to get back into boxing and thinks Alice and Dickey are not good enough for him to be managed and trained under. He eventually has a new manager named Sal Lanano (Frank Renzulli) and Sal says his mom and his step brother cannot be involved any longer. Mickey then gets trained and becomes better at boxing under them. He then has a match against an undefeated boxer. Mickey goes to visit Dickey in prison, and Dicky advises Mickey in how to beat his upcoming opponent. Mickey took this advice the wrong way since he thinks Dickey is only trying to use him to set his own career straightened out again. However during the actual match, Mickey is being beaten and he uses his step brother’s advice at the end to win the match. His win also gave him the opportunity to go after the title. Mickey realizes that he wants everyone by his side in order for him to a be a successful boxer. Dickey gets released from prison and sees Mickey training. He gets ready to spar with him but Mickey tells him and his mom that they can’t no longer be involved. But Mickey also tells Charlene and his new manager that he actually wants everyone by his side. Charlene and Sal are really pissed off by his new idea and they leave. Dickey leaves angrily once Mickey knocks him down angrily while sparring with him. Mickey confesses to Alice saying that he always cared and favored more of Dickey then him. Alice feels bad of what she has been doing all this time. She apologizes to him and they hug. Dickey on the other hand goes to Charlene’s apartment and Dickey convinces Charlene that Mickey needs everyone including both of them by his side. They all go to London to support Mickey for his big match for the world title. Mickey eventually wins the title and becomes world champion.
So that is basically the whole movie. The performances, screenplay, and cinemetegraphy were all amazing. There was a lot of drama in this film and it perfectly fits!
Mark Wahlberg’s performance in this film was solid. His character went through a really hard time but in the end he became the champion. He was going through a lot of stress in his life but he managed to resolve everything and all his hard work, and the support he got in the end paid off. I was surprised that Mark Wahlberg did not get nominated for an Oscar of his performance. My favorite scene was when Mickey stood up to his mom and told her how how felt that she favored more of Dickey than him. That was such a powerful scene and there were tons of emotion. You actually feel sorry for Mickey and his current life.
Christian Bale’s performance as Dickey was phenomenal. He won an Oscar for his performance and I’m glad he did. He rightfully deserves it. My favorite scene was when his character goes to Charlene’s apartment and confronts her to tell her that Mickey needs both of them. I like how he told Charlene that Mickey has a chance to do something that he never did. It shows that Dickey does care a lot about his step brother and he knows that he screwed up his own career badly. He doesn’t want his step brother’s career to become a failure like his. The acting in that scene by Christian Bale was too good. He was perfect for that role!
Amy Adams’ performance as Charlene was solid too. Her character most of the time supported Mickey and always thought she knew what was best for him. She always stood up for herself whenever Mickey’s family insulted her. She was such a mentally strong woman. I’m at least glad that she got nominated for an Oscar of her role. It would’ve been better if she won. I liked her performance here than her performance in American Hustle. But her performance in the film Arrival is the best so far in my opinion. Melissa Leo’s performance as Alice was good too. She also wanted to the best for Mickey and was trying her best to keep the family in good shape. Even though Mickey thought she was not doing too much of a good job, I was glad that she realized that she has her own flaws too. Her character changes at the last act and it was for the better. Melissa Leo was the right choice for the role. It’s cool that she won an Oscar for her role. Jack McGee’s performance as the father was good too. Everyone in the family always wanted the best for Mickey. It’s just some members of the family and his girlfriend Charlene had different views on how to make Mickey a successful boxer which gave him a lot of stress.
After seeing this film, I would say this is one of the best boxing films of all time and it’s one of the best dramatic films of all time. Each character in the movie showed lots of emotions and it perfectly fitted with the drama! I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone and I would rate this film 5 out of 5 stars. It’s a masterpiece in my opinion. But my favorite boxing and one of my favorite films of all time will always be the original Rocky. Stay tuned for another movie review. 🙂