Mark Wahlberg stars in Paramount Pictures' inspirational docudrama exploring the remarkable rise of Massachusetts-born, junior welterweight title winner "Irish" Micky Ward. A determined pugilist whose career in the ring was shepherded by his loyal half-brother, Dicky (Christian Bale) -- a hard-living boxer-turned-trainer whose own career in the ring was nearly sent down for the count due to drugs and crime -- perennial underdog Irish Micky rebounded from a disheartening series of defeats to win both the WBU Intercontinental Lightweight title and the WBU Light Welterweight title thanks to a fierce combination of determination and hard work. David O. Russell directs from a script by 8 Mile's Scott Silver and Paul Attanasio (The Bourne Ultimatum). ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: David O. Russell
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo, Jack McGee
Release Date: Dec 17, 2010
Rated R for some violence, sexuality, language throughout and drug content
Runtime: 1 hr. 54 min.
Genres: Documentary, Drama
Films based on sports stories always have inherent obstacles to clear to make an impression. Those obstacles are simple in that the plots are all identical, underdog rises get to the big game fight etc., and the faux sports never feels truly authentic. As a result this genre always has to work a bit harder than most. The Fighter works as a true life Rocky story because it’s a thoroughly compelling story about family and dysfunction with the sports aspect almost an afterthought. David Russell delivers a film that engaging from the moment it begins. It features some of the best all around acting from its stellar cast. Mark Wahlberg is soft spoken and heartfelt throughout, he tends to blend in to the background from time to time. It’s not really because of anything Wahlberg does but the other parts are meatier roles. Case in point, Christine Bale’s amazing performance as Mickey’s crack addict / trainer Dicky. Bale is a method actor through and through and here he’s manipulated his body to another extreme similar to what he did in The Machinist. His appearance and mannerism are just spot on throughout especially when you see footage of the real person. Bale has shown incredible versatility over the past couple of years and this role should give him the accolades and Oscar he’s deserved. Amy Adams is also impressive playing against type and does it extremely well. Melissa Leo reeks of authenticity as Mickey’s mother and manager. As a whole the cast share fantastic believable chemistry that boosts the story’s emotional center making everything ring true.