Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Fighter

The Fighter is yet another great movie to add to the pantheon of Boxing movies. Almost every boxing movie has the same exact plot, emotional story about how the guy's been down on his luck for an hour and then he gets his big chance at a comeback and succeeds wonderfully. Hell most of them are even historically based, which undoubtedly makes the audience that much more interested. Somehow or other this plot never gets tired, at least when there's several years between boxing movies.

In this particular boxing movie Christian Bale is outstanding as Dicky Eklund. Bale is a wonderful actor and a terrible human being, fortunately I never have to see him in person so I don't give a shit. Bale's problem in recent years is always playing the typecast "stern lawman" role, but he really is amazing at random roles. The last role that wasn't "Stern Lawman" was The Prestige, which is also incredible. However this performance is probably his best, depending on how you feel about American Psycho, Bale lost a ton of weight for the role and looks a lot like the actual person he's portraying, a recovering crack addict and "Lowell Boxing legend." He energizes everyone else on screen every scene he participates in, much like Jeremy Renner in The Town. (who also could get Best Supporting Actor)

As previously mentioned this film got every Golden Globe nomination you'd figure might be handed out to True Grit, and they're from the same studio so it remains to be seen if True Grit will be promoted for the Oscars or not. Amy Adams is great in her role as well, Mark Wahlberg plays Mark Wahlberg as Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter, just like every other movie. He's okay I suppose, not as good as Mark Wahlberg playing Mark Wahlberg as Mark Wahlberg in the Departed but serviceable enough. Marky Mark doesn't get typecast but he always acts exactly the same with one or two emotions, in this case it doesn't detract from the film at all.

Christian Bale elevates this movie from good to great pretty handily, everything else about the film is solid and the scenes involving Micky Ward's 7 sisters are all pretty hilarious, but Bale is what makes it all come together. The mother, Melissa Leo, also plays a wonderful part, pretty much as good as Amy Adams is, and she was also nominated for a Golden Globe. There's one scene during the credits where the real Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund are shown, while Wahlberg looks somewhat like Ward, Christian Bale looks and acts exactly the same as Eklund does. This movie is worth seeing just for that I'd say.

This movie is a darkhorse candidate for Best Picture now, as long as The Social Network doesn't win all is well with the world so let's root for it. The ultimate underdog story, down on its luck, the gruesome overrated champion of nonsensical bullshit can not bring him down. Hail the Fighter! Go Oscar Go! Zuckerberg gets knocked out in one punch, pure emotional victory, you gotta have heart. I think this'd be better than Rocky winning the Cold War for us. Perhaps Dicky could win a Nobel Peace Prize to counteract Zuck's recent devious actions and awards. Anything!

Final Grade: 9/10

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