The Fighter

This movie was something that was on the top of my list for must sees merely because it is set so close to home- Lowell, MA.

Scouring through the numerous reviews trying to figure out what this movie is going to be about before I ventured to the theater to see it I came across one common thread. The performance of Christian Bale was absolutely phenomenal. Each reviewer focused on the fact that Bale had to lose almost thirty pounds for the role and had to undergo and emotional transformation in order to get himself situated in the head of a crack addict.

After seeing the movie I can say with absolute certainty that he did a stellar job. The character was funny, engaging and sympathetic. The audience couldn’t help but route for him even as he was jumping out the window to avoid his own mother.

For me though this performance is not all shocking when it comes to Bale. One of the last reviews I did was on American Psycho where Bale also has a tremendous handle on the task of being a mentally unstable character. Both performances are engaging and astonishing for any actor but Bale has shown again and again that he is capable of this so it does not come as the slightest shock.

Mark Wahlberg’s performance was nothing to sneeze at either. He was able to not only show the physical intensity of the character he played but was also able to accurately portray the emotional turmoil he dealt with as he tried to not only do what was best for him but also his crack addict brother, his seven sisters, his mother and Charlene. Ultimately he learned to accept that he could not please everyone and in this group dynamic this was not an easy lesson to learn.

The movie as a general rule was very exciting, action packed and mixed up with a little bit of romance. This is the type of movie that can make a person who doesn’t have the slightest interest in boxing, punch their car freshener the whole drive home.

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3 thoughts on “The Fighter

  1. It looks like an interesting movie!
    “This is the type of movie that can make a person who doesn’t have the slightest interest in boxing, punch their car freshener the whole drive home.” That made me laugh!

  2. I have yet to see the fighter but have been drawn into several conversations on the matter.

    I’m never surprised to hear about how good a Christan bale performance is. He’s impressed me in most roles I’ve seen him play. Be it Psychological outcast in The Mechanic, Emotional Virgin turned empassioned freedom fighter in Equilibrium, or even in serial roles like that of John Conner showing him for the first time as a man who might save the world in Terminator Salvation.

    But what else can one expect from the kid who starred in Empire of the Sun. He’s literally been acting in good movies longer than I’ve even known what a good movie was. More to his credit that we get to actually see that potential realized, instead of the emotional breakdowns of his child star contemporaries.

    Interesting then that he play a character destined to showcase a potential hes never to realize due to emotional instability, and substance abuse.

    I’ve been a mickey Ward fan since I first heard his story after the Ward-Gatti fights. But i’ve avoided this movie because I was scared to watch Mark Wahlberg ruin it. While I find it nearly impossible to believe ive heard nothing but good things about his performance as well. I guess I’ll have to suck it up and actually see the movie.

  3. Bale… amazing. Deserved the Oscar all the way. Not a shock that his performance was this good but that’s still saying a lot. I won’t harp on it since it seems to be understood. I only wonder if any of his method seeps into his everyday personality in any kind of negative ways the way it does for many other method actors. I hope not but time will tell.

    As for Mark Wahlberg… he plays a tough Irsih guy from Lowell, a tremendous leap for a tough Irish guy from Dorchester. He carries his weight. Couldn’t have asked anyone else to do it better.

    My favorite part was the sisters. WOW. It was like a Greek chorus, amplifying the emotion of whatever else was going on in the scene. Some real lookers in there too. Yikes. They looked tougher than most of the boxers or felons that appear in the film. When you see it (or see it again) keep an eye out for Conan O’Brien’s sister. If you look closely, you can see a clear family resemblance. Didn’t spot her? Check the scene on the roof.

    On a whole, I was glad the movie wasn’t just a Rocky remake. I really wasn’t expecting as much of Dickie’s story as was told but it really gave the movie depth. I’ve heard talks of a sequel but I really hope they just let it be. It was good once. Unless Mickey Ward is planning to fight Mr. T in the third installment, they should all just quit while their ahead.

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