A review on the film The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale.
Sarah’s best friend was over recently and we all watched The Fighter. I got the impression it would be kind of a modern Rocky. Furthermore with both Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale in it, I was looking forward to this one a lot. Funnily enough, it wasn’t anything like what I expected. It was much more.
The film is about the true story of Micky Ward’s remarkable rise to welterweight boxing champion of the world. Ward, played by Wahlberg, is coached by his half brother Dicky Eklund, played by Bale. Dicky is a former boxer, dreaming of a comeback, and obsessed with the time he claimed to knock out Sugar Ray Leonard – the ref said it was a slip. Dicky is also a junky, addicted to crack, and completely out of control.
When Bale first came onto the film, I was shocked. He was pale, thin, and I didn’t even recognize him at all. In doing so, I think he played the drugged up Dicky Eklund fantastically. A colleague told me recently that she thought Wahlberg was poor in this. I disagree, I thought he was also brilliant. He obviously relates to the role, coming from a similar background, and plays the “softer” brother well. It’s certainly very different to fantastically obnoxious Boston detective he plays so well in The Departed! Both Wahlberg and Bale are supported by some fantastic supporting roles with the likes of Amy Adams.
In some ways, The Fighter is like Rocky. The story itself isn’t so much about the boxing as it is about the life behind the boxer. However The Fighter is much rawer, more modern. Not surprising as its based on a real story. This does mean the fights are less epic than Rocky, but I think that’s OK for everything else you get in it. So, for a much more gritty and powerful boxing film, with a great cast, check out The Fighter.