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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

The Fighter (2010)


Just shows you that crack is not always whack. I mean just look at Christian Bale. The guys freakin’ Batman.

Mark Wahlberg stars as boxer “Irish” Mickey Ward and Christian Bale as half brother and trainer Dicky Eklund in this inspiring drama based on the fighter‘s rise from working-class Lowell, Mass., to world-class welterweight champ. After a string of defeats, Mickey rediscovers his fighting will with help from Dicky — a once-talented pugilist battling drug addiction.

There hasn’t been a very good boxing movie lately. Now that other “sports” like UFC, MMA, hell even Professional wresting for that matter have taken over mainstream, people have sort of forgotten about boxing. Especially in the film world, but thanks to this, it makes me want more of them.

Director David O. Russell is known for being a huge dick off-screen, and hasn’t really done much else that people know, but because of this film, I think he has finally broken into the mainstream. And it’s with all good reason, he does an amazing job at making this one of the most entertaining pieces of the year. It’s more of a character study than it actually is a boxing film, but it still delivers on plenty of fun, family escapades for us to watch. Also, it was really neat to see the match sequences to be filmed in the digital style that HBO used to use back in the day, and it really did make it all look legit, and not just another boxing film fight sequence.

The screenplay works really well too providing us with a lot more comedy than I expected.  There is also a lot of themes that touch on the element of family, which play out so well. You laugh, you cry, but most of all, you love your family, and in the end they always have the best intentions. This film the way it is written, and the way it all plays out, just seems so real. Although you know how this story is going to turn out, you still cannot stop watching, and getting attached to these characters. Everything just seemed very real, and there are barely any moments that feel like they were just put on for the big-screen.

The one main problem I had with this film is that I think it could have gone longer. I know that’s a weird complaint, because many people will probably complain about how it is almost too long, but for me I wanted more somehow. That sounds greedy, and spoiled, but the ending didn’t fully satisfy me to the point of where I was just jumping for joy. This is a weird complaint, I know that, but I just wanted a longer run time.

The main reason to see this is it’s amazing cast. Mark Wahlberg does the straight-man act that he does in a lot of films, but hey it’s not so bad. He is an easy guy to like, and you can tell his frustration with his family, and boxing career. This gives us more of a reason to rally behind him, and keep on watching, which is what all boxing movies need. Amy Adams really steps out of her “goody goody two shoes” light, and gets dirty, bad, and sassy. I loved her performance, and her quick delivery with every line is not only believable, but its also funny, and we actually as fans want to go out with her. Let’s not also forget Melissa Leo who is just perfect as the asshole Mom, who just can’t handle being a nobody. Her performance I loved. But………

The real show is right next to Marky Mark on that poster up above. I have always liked Christian Bale, when people give him shit for his douche bag ways off the screen, and cocky attitude, I have always appreciated almost everything he does. And now all that love that I have given him finally pays off, as I have just seen his best performance, and probably one of the best performances of the year. I loved this performance so freakin’ much. Bale is silly, sad, gritty, crazy, fearless, skinny as a toothpick, but also likable as your any other average Joe. You believe all the little tics, and weird things he says and does, and he commands your attention, and well you gotta give it to him. His character, Dickie Eklund, just couldn’t give up the limelight, and with this performance neither can Bale, cause he steals it. Every scene he is in, he just commands almost every time, and I sure as hell hope he gets an Oscar, cause he is just one of the biggest and best joys to watch on screen.

Consensus: The Fighter may be a story you have seen before, but the inspired direction, and amazing ensemble performances from this cast, make this treat, a fun-filled, entertaining boxing movie, that made us realize we missed this genre too much.

9/10=Full Pricee!!!

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18 responses to “The Fighter (2010)

  1. JL December 29, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I actually think this movie is a bit overrated. I gave it a 7 myself. The story was just pretty formulaic and not entirely engrossing. The acting is what makes this movie shine. More specifically Bale, Leo and Adams. Just an alright story with great supporting acting makes it an enjoyable movie, but not this 9/10 type hype that it’s has been getting..in my opinion.

    Your one complaint isn’t a weird one at all. I just think it’s a ‘misplaced’ one in a sense. You say you weren’t fully satisfied at the end, I agree. However, I don’t think that had to do with run time. In fact, this was my biggest complain with the movie as well. It should’ve been more feel-good and inspiring at the end, but it wasn’t. The reason: because you’re not invested enough with Wahlberg’s character. I think part of this is because Wahlberg has the personality of a goldfish. But also partly due to the writing that focuses too much on the characters surrounding Ward (Wahlberg), and he just sort of becomes this almost inanimate object between them in this tug-of-war fight. Then his passive nature (which is possibly due to the real-life Ward) just doesn’t lend well to being a character that audiences can connect with. This, I feel, is the reason you don’t feel fulfilled in the end. Why it’s not nearly as inspiring as it could have been. This is what stops it from being a great movie, and takes it down to just being a pretty good movie.

    • CMrok93 December 29, 2010 at 4:47 pm

      Damn, you are so true my man! But I will say that I did really like this film despite everything that didn’t seem right.

      • JL December 30, 2010 at 6:05 am

        Yea, I’m not trying to knock the movie and say it’s a bad one. It still is a good movie. A 7 on my scale is definitely impressive. I’m the type that will usually be a notch below most when scoring movies. For instance, you’ll probably never (very rarely) see a movie get a 10/10 from me. Only things like 12 Angry Men, Rear Window, Pulp Fiction, Memento. My 10/10 is reserved for the very elite. And likewise, a 5/10 from me still isn’t a horrible score like most people do. 5/10 to me means exactly what it signifies: middle of the road. Means it’s a mediocre movie. Which probably means if that’s your type of movie or your favorite actor is in it, you’ll probably enjoy it at least for a rental. Even the general public could find some amusement in it for a RedBox rental when there’s nothing else to watch.

        But yea, it’s a pretty good movie (definitely been much better ones this year for me) wrapped up with excellent acting. And I really do believe that not being able to connect with the Ward character is what left me, you and others with that feeling of unsatisfaction at the end. Just not as inspired as we could have been (like say with Rocky or something like that).

  2. rtm December 29, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    Not a fan of boxing flicks even with Bale in it, but because of him, I’ll see this on dvd. Glad to hear he’s been getting kudos as it’s been so long overdue!! I had no idea there’s a lot of comedic elements in this, makes me even more curious. Nice review, man!

  3. paolocase December 30, 2010 at 6:48 am

    I think you’re the first person I’ve read who actually used the term half-brother to describe Micky and Dicky. Just because the family sort of accepts the half-brothers and half-sisters without any afterthought. And the bond and emotion between these siblings, especially with the boys, makes us forget that part of their family history.

  4. Fitz December 31, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Get Bale that Oscar man. It’s been a long time coming.

  5. 5plitreel January 2, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Ouuu cannot wait to see this, I’ve grown to like Wahlberg now that I’ve seen him promoting this. Such a passionate guy.

  6. Stu January 2, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    With Russel, Bale, and Marky all on one set it’s a wonder a serious brawl didn’t break out. The amount of testosterone had to be near toxic. In all seriousness, though, I really did enjoy this movie. In my opinion, it’s right up there with the best 2010 had to offer.

  7. Franz Patrick January 3, 2011 at 1:04 am

    I just wish critics would stop comparing this to the best movies about boxing… I thought it was weird the supporting actors made the movie. Everything else felt secondary.

  8. jel January 24, 2011 at 1:27 am

    christan bale will win the oscar for best supporting actor! i watched it last night and fell in love with himm! its such a great movie! you know what else i thought was cool how they took the actual boxing footage and added walberg and bale into and it didnt come out cheesy or cheap! one of my favorites of the year! and the soundtrack was pretty good too. And who knew amy adams could curse!

  9. Pingback: Top 10 of 2010 | Dan The Man's Movie Reviews

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