Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Fighter (film review)

Like as if we haven’t seen enough of boxing flicks (The Rocky movies, Raging Bull, Hurricane, Ali, Million Dollar Baby, Cinderella Man, anyone???) , here comes another, aptly titled “THE FIGHTER”. Yet again, this is based on a true story about a boxer, Micky Ward(Mark Wahlberg), managed by his mother (Melissa Leo) and trained by his half-brother (Christian Bale). Believe it or not, it is a very simple story about that boxer and the people around him. What makes it VERY special are the incredible performances from the ensemble cast. Very few movies can boast such stellar acting performances from all main actors involved and luckily “THE FIGHTER”‘s got the brilliant Christian Bale, as a washed-out and messed-up boxer giving a very showy performance more than enough to win an Oscar this year, Melissa Leo who is given plenty of screen time to shine as Micky’s white trash mum and the radiant Amy Adams (usually seen in modern-day Mary Poppins roles: “Julie & Julia”, “Disney’s Enchanted” and “Doubt”, just to name a few) finally in her very first no-nonsense tough chick role as Micky’s supportive girlfriend. However, Mark Wahlberg’s work in this movie, though it’s decent and quite convincing, is dim and pale in comparison to the other three. And that I believe is also the reason why he got shut out at the Oscars, (yes, the other three got their acting noms!) All in all, “THE FIGHTER” is truly enjoyable and I’m very glad that the usual fighting scenes in boxing movies are minimal in this one (except for the last scene which no doubt needs to be there) and cleverly replaced by more emotionally-charged scenes between characters. Definitely a must-see!

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