Movie Review: The Fighter

By Drum Digital
16 February 2011

Rating 4/5

Boxing drama. With MARK WAHLBERG, CHRISTIAN BALE and AMY ADAMS. Director: David O Russell. 16LVD. Opens 25 February.

What’s it about?

It’s based on the true story of a talented young boxer’s rise to world fame and the role his friends and family play in his life.

Who will enjoy it?

You’ll need hair on your teeth and chest to survive this tough-as-nails flick – don’t expect traditional popcorn entertainment about a cool boxer in the vein of Rocky. This gritty, realistic drama looks at the influence Micky Ward’s laidback brother and down-to-earth mom had on him but ultimately it’s about one’s bonds with family and friends, with boxing almost becomingametaphor for life itself. The excellent performances alone are worth the price of a ticket and Christian Bale’s metamorphosis is truly memorable. And the boxing scenes aren’t as vicious as those in Raging Bull; this film looks at a process of growth rather than destruction. It’s outspoken, aggressive, passionate and stormy!

Wait for DVD?

No. To follow the action in the boxing scenes, you have to see this on the big screen. The characters are larger than life and reveal a new world to those not familiar with the boxing scene. Don’t expect a “will he win?” caper; it’s a character-driven drama and you have to pay attention to keep up. Similar films Raging Bull; The Wrestler.

Popcorn fact

* The gym where most of the scenes were shot is the same one the real Micky Ward practised in.

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