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The Fighter - Movie Review by Johan_L

David O. Russell’s The Fighter is based on the true story of a pro boxer called Micky Ward. Micky’s half-brother Dicky Ecklund (in the movie portrayed by the Golden Globe winner Christian Bale) was a boxer who once had almost everything and after his biggest chance for success passed he started smoking crack (becoming an addict along the way). Back when Dicky was a rising star, Micky couldn’t help but admiring his older brother, who was a winner admired by his family and known as a legend in their little town. As a result, Micky started following his steps and entered the hard world of boxing. When Dicky’s career was over, he became Micky’s coach. Their mother Alice (played by a fabulous Melissa Leo) was Micky’s manager. However, this “family business” thing they had didn’t succeed at all due to Dicky’s growing drug-addiction and all the problems their large family had to deal with. At this point, Micky realized he couldn’t stay with his bro and his dad looked both for another coach and for another manager (leading to more family problems).
With a new team behind him and with a girlfriend backing him up (say hello to the always lovely and amazing Amy Adams) Micky’s career started to succeed.

I thought The Fighter was going to be a really fucked up movie about drugs and lost chances and honestly, I was really surprised to see that it is a completely different thing. And I just loved it. Obviously, when a movie deals with that kind of topics, it tends to be depressing but David O.Russell managed it pretty damn well and made The Fighter an optimistic movie about a man who breaks away from his dysfunctional family in order to succeed (I know it is weird I call that optimistic). Throughout all this “break-away” process we see Mark Wahlberg’s character dealing with his brother’s problems with drugs and with the justice, trying to be there for his bro instead of being there for himself.
Micky can’t live his life with his brother next to him. That’s just what Amy Adams’s Charleene makes Micky aware of. It is awesome (to say the least) to see how all of this is played out in the screen so naturally. The best part is that it could have been a very slow movie but it isn’t! It has a pretty nice rhythm and everything just matches perfectly.

Although the tone of the movie makes it clear that it is a family drama, the humor is always there in the form of Micky and Dicky’s six or seven (or are they eight?) sisters. Even though they are not always providing hilarious lines, their presence on screen is enough to make it funny. Besides, the relationship between Charleene ” The newcomer” and the female members of the Ward clan is so weird and over the top that it turns out to be a very explosive combination. And talking about relationships, it is obvious that not all of them are funny in this movie. Micky and Dicky’s own relationship is presented as strong and healthy but in less than twenty minutes that feeling disappears and we just see a man (Micky) being nice to his brother because he feels sorry for him and (of course) because he loves him. Besides, if we put their mother Alice into the equation, we get another explosive combination (but completely different than the one explained a few lines above), which is responsible for all the drama that occurs within the movie.

As it couldn’t be otherwise and given that boxing is what made the Ward family be a family in the first place, the boxing gene brings all of them together in one of the nicest ways I’ve seen lately. While Micky’s relationship with his mother and with Dicky has never been worse, his career is better than ever: Micky is up for the World Boxing Union title (WBU). I don’t want to spoil this for anyone who hasn't seen the movie so I’ll just stop writing about it just now.

I think that writing about the acting is silly (given that three of the four stars of the movie have an Oscar nomination) but still, let me say that Mr. Bale is unbelievably talented. Everyone is just great; Amy and Melissa really pull their respective roles off.

To sum up, The Fighter is a two hour movie that finishes in a blink. It will make you care for the characters it presents you, it will make you feel sorry for them and it will make you laugh. It also is a realistic and an optimistic story about a gentle man who risks everything to pursue his dreams and become a legend.

Best: the leading foursome (Wahlberg, Bale, Adams and Leo) are brilliant; the rhythm the movie has.

Worst: almost nothing. Maybe it would have been nice to see more development between Micky and Charleene’s relationship.

Overall, I give it an 8.5 out of 10.

Hit the comments and let me know what you think guys about the movie and about my review! ;)

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