DVD RvReview: The Fighter

DING! DING! Seconds out… another boxing movie. But what did Ross McG think about the Oscar-bothering The Fighter? In the words of Irish Magneto… let’s find out.

The Fighter (four stars)

Nobody does deadpan like Mark Wahlberg. And if ever a film needed Wahlberg doing deadpan it is The Fighter. The Rocky reworking brought home Oscars for supporting players Christian Bale and Melissa Leo for their immensely enjoyable OTT turns but it simply would not work without Wahlberg, whose unfussy lead performance holds firm amid the method madness. Something of a labour of love for Wahlberg, who was attached to the project for five years before release, The Fighter is the true story of boxer Micky Ward, who went from a journeyman punching bag to… well, let’s not spoil the ending. As with all boxing movies – Raging Bull, The Champ, even Teen Wolf Too – the really tough fighting takes places outside the ropes. In this case, Ward trades psychological blows with his meddling mother (Leo) and crack-addicted half-brother Dicky (Bale), all under the piercing gaze of his gang of over-protective sisters. Luckily for Micky, there isn’t one opponent in the ring who comes close to being as scary as this lot. In fact, the matches (shot like real TV fights) offer Ward and the viewer a kind of respite from all the domestic instability, making the audience genuinely root for the put-upon hero when he laces up his gloves. The Fighter’s knockout blow, however, comes from its director David O Russell, who takes what looks a clichéd underdog story and fills it with freshness, making you want to don a grey tracksuit and go jogging within seconds of the credits rolling.

This review first appeared in the Metro newspaper



One Response to “DVD RvReview: The Fighter”

  1. One of my favorite films of 2010 and Bale proved that he is and always will be one of the real deals in Hollywood. Wahlberg also does good keeping this whole film all together well. Good Review!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: