Monday, January 3, 2011

The Fighter - Movie Review

lll 1/2

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo.
Directed by David O. Russell.

This movie triumphs in many areas, but the biggest is the acting showcase it provides. Christian Bale has long been one of the most versatile actors of his generation, but his work in movies like Rescue Dawn just never quite got the awards attention. Now here's one where he can shine. He's lost weight and made to look skeletal, pale, really burying himself of a former boxer turned crack-addict. Also duking it out are Amy Adams, in her toughest tough-gal role yet, and Melissa Leo, a mama bear who can't quite see when she does more harm than good.

It also succeeds in being a realistic boxing movie. By that I mean the choreography isn't elevated to this unworldy Rocky sequel where the fight would have been called off ten rounds before it actually is.

This movie's really more about family. Boxing's secondary. It's about older-brother screw-up Dicky (Bale) and younger brother Micky (Mark Wahlberg) who still might have a future. It's all filmed in Lowell, MA, with actors that look like real people, on locations that don't look like sound stages.

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