The Fighter (15)

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Feb 1 2011

Hollywood’s century-long love affair with boxing, comeback stories and the struggles of the ‘common man’ continues with this entertaining if predictable ringside biopic. Mark Wahlberg plays ‘Irish’ Mickey Ward, the working-class slugger from Lowell, Massachusetts, whose rough road to sporting stardom in the mid-’90s was both helped and hindered by his ex-boxer brother Dicky (Christian Bale) and his tough-cookie manager mother, Alice (Melissa Leo).

The most notable thing about ‘The Fighter’ is its extreme and at times offputting diversity of acting styles: Wahlberg holds himself back as the quiet man at the eye of the storm, but  Bale’s twitchy, tweaked-out crackhead is as out-there a character as he’s ever portrayed, while both Leo and Amy Adams are on full scenery-chewing form as the sharp-tongued, mad-haired, leopard-print-clad women who rule Mickey’s life. Director David O Russell (‘Three Kings’) does a decent job of holding things together, but some scenes feel more like a thespian pissing contest than a representation of anything like ‘real life’, a situation not helped by some of the more laboured, class-conscious Barton Fink-isms in the script.

But ‘The Fighter’ is still a hugely entertaining watch, romping through its rags-to-slightly-better-rags plot with aplomb, throwing in a few brief but breathless boxing sequences, some superbly sketched (and terrifyingly dressed) supporting characters and a lot of snappy, street-smart dialogue. Russell’s visual sense is as strong as ever, creating a vivid, heightened portrait of ground-level life in what was then one of America’s roughest neighbourhoods. The result is a flawed, frequently ludicrous but overwhelmingly likeable film, old-school to the core and none the worse for it.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Feb 4, 2011

Duration:

116 mins

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:6
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|20
1 person listening
ed

I didn't want to see this film because the trailer made it look very predictable and unoriginal. The reason I ended up seeing it is that it ended up showing at my local cinema and was the only non kids film for abot 2 weeks (I live in Cornwall - land of no multiplexes), so was straving, Long story short, despite a predicatable story arc I thought the characterisation was sharp, the sisters, the mother, the gnarly Amy Adams, and even mark Walhberg who I generally thinks puts in weak performances. His whiney schtick really worked in this though. Christian Bale was predictably good but I wasn;t expecting him to be funny which was a plus. There was a lot of humour in this film. This and the details of the neighbourhood (Lowell, Boston) and the characters made it very watchable... Not the unwanted WRESTLER clone I expected it to be...

HollandMovieLover

I caught one of the previews of this brilliant movie last weekend in the local cinema and was completely blown away by the acting of the whole cast and not just Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo who were of course all outstanding in their respective roles. One of the best movies of 2010/2011 as far as I am concerned together with The King's Speech, Black Swan, Winter's Bone, The Social Network and True Grit!

Thomas Noctor

Average movie, Bale was excellent. Wahlberg was poor! True story or not this was always going to be compared to 'Rocky'. I think that's why Bale's character was so funny. However I did enjoy it at times and it is definatley worth a watch. Good Film!

Joe

Worth seeing for Christian Bale's wacky, messed-up & often hilarious performance. Rest of the film sadly is fairly average. Wahlberg is quite lame in this and the family feuding quickly becomes tiresome; the mother figure being especially irritating and not very believable. The fight sequences are a bit daft as most of the time the boxers fight without moving, like statues. However, Bale's acting as the screwed-up crackhead brother 'Mickey' is hysterically good and easily steals the show.

pg

amazing film actors are absolutely fantastic (amy adams irresistible).

pg

amazing film actors are absolutely fantastic (amy adams irresistible).

Justin Berkovi

For once I find myself agreeing with TIMEOUT. I'm a huge Mark Wahlberg fan but I found him to be weak in this film. Perhaps the problem with 'The Fighter' is that Bale's performance is so brilliant that it eclipses everything else, even the fight scenes. It is a likeable film with the best intentions and I do advise going to see it, even if for Bale's performance alone but I can't help thinking that without Bale the film would have been quite tedious. Wahlberg seems to sleep through his role and at time seems awkward in character - this may very well be the role he's meant to play but on film it disrupts the flow of the film and the contrasting in acting as the reviewer mentioned DOES sometimes lend the film to a jerkiness in narrative that doesn't work at times. The issue that bothered me the most was that whilst Wahlberg seemed to be a pensive, slow burner of a character the music in many cases didn't fit the scene. Perhaps a more brooding, introspective soundtrack would have been more fitting - it seemed that his character internalised a lot of his pain with his family / his situation and a 'rocky' type rock soundtrack just didn't work. Saying all of this it's always enjoyable to see Wahlberg on the screen and the final scene with Bale was the most moving 20 seconds of the film, he deserves an Oscar nod in my opinion.

Craigganmore

The ratings given to a film are always relative so, after being bored stupid by The Hereafter and patronised by The King's Speech (I have a stammer too) my hopes were up for The Fighter and, in my opinion, it floors the other two films in straight knock outs. Who can resist a boxing pun, eh? Certainly not me. I found the film to be a revelation and I can't find any reason to give it less than 5 stars. Watch Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund online and the way they're portrayed in this movie is spot on. Dicky is in your face, Micky is reserved, to play it any other way wouldn't tell the story. The boxing scenes bleed realism, the crack smoking scenes glow with despondency and the whole bullying scene around Micky would make anybody want to hit someone. No wonder he took up boxing with a family like that. A great film and if Christian doesn't get an Oscar for his portrayal of Dicky Eklund he'll have every right to feel cheated. Mark Wahlberg punches way above his weight (sorry) returning to the acting form that saw him become famous with Boogie Nights. If you don't see this film you'll miss a treat. Forget the over-hyped monarchophilic King's Speech, this is the film of the moment that shows how someone overcame overwhelming odds to achieve great things. On the use of 'Overwhelming'\ has anybody ever been 'whelmed'?

Craigganmore

The ratings given to a film are always relative so, after being bored stupid by The Hereafter and patronised by The King's Speech (I have a stammer too) my hopes were up for The Fighter and, in my opinion, it floors the other two films in straight knock outs. Who can resist a boxing pun, eh? Certainly not me. I found the film to be a revelation and I can't find any reason to give it less than 5 stars. Watch Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund online and the way they're portrayed in this movie is spot on. Dicky is in your face, Micky is reserved, to play it any other way wouldn't tell the story. The boxing scenes bleed realism, the crack smoking scenes glow with despondency and the whole bullying scene around Micky would make anybody want to hit someone. No wonder he took up boxing with a family like that. A great film and if Christian doesn't get an Oscar for his portrayal of Dicky Eklund he'll have every right to feel cheated. Mark Wahlberg punches way above his weight (sorry) returning to the acting form that saw him become famous with Boogie Nights. If you don't see this film you'll miss a treat. Forget the over-hyped monarchophilic King's Speech, this is the film of the moment that shows how someone overcame overwhelming odds to achieve great things. On the use of 'Overwhelming'\ has anybody ever been 'whelmed'?

ARCHGATE

Like Rocky on crack. This film is like long burning firecracker. Bale steals the film hands down and should win an Oscar. The sound of this film in the first hour is nothing less than sensational. Whalberg plays it a little too safe for my liking and the boxing scenes lacked adrenaline. The sisters were clearly not pro actors but were a scary bunch nontheless. Well worth 3 stars +.

Big cannon

I highly value historical accuracy when dealing with movies relating to true stories, being an old school slugger, boxing and mickey ward fan make me somewhat biast but I thought this was class !!! Get on youtube type ward Vs gatti round 9, arguably one of the greatest in boxing history. Back to the movie, class acting as in the point was to portray the real people as they are. .. Hope they make a the fighter two with the gatti trilogy involved 10 out of 10

Big cannon

I highly value historical accuracy when dealing with movies relating to true stories, being an old school slugger, boxing and mickey ward fan make me somewhat biast but I thought this was class !!! Get on youtube type ward Vs gatti round 9, arguably one of the greatest in boxing history. Back to the movie, class acting as in the point was to portray the real people as they are. .. Hope they make a the fighter two with the gatti trilogy involved 10 out of 10

Evie

After all the oscar buzz I was expecting something a little less average. I just find Mark Wahlberg a bit bland. Christian Bale's charismatic as Dicky but this film wouldn't make it into my top ten favourite Bale performances.

Steve Ellis

Interesting film but a bit predictable, especially in the stereotyped boxing scenes. Bale and Adams are both impressive but the film takes a while to get going. Worth seeing but not as good as the Oscar nominations would suggest.

DV

Hugely enjoyable boxing movie. Bale is excellent as the junkie brother. What a family! Holy moley. Worse than anything seen on Jerry Springer, and quite amusing for it. It's easy to get behind Wahlberg's character, and once again staged movie sports actually beats the real thing hands down in terms of emotional involvement and dramatic tension.

Violet

I agree with Tom Huddleston and “Mike�. I saw this a couple of nights ago and thought it was very formulaic. When I chatted to a friend online last night and mentioned I’d been to see The Fighter he guessed pretty much the whole story, and bearing in mind he doesn’t go to the movies and hadn’t seen a trailer or review, that’s pretty good going. His only prompt for the outline of the story was the poster he saw. So, yes, this film is predictable. I can see it’ll be popular with audiences, and the acting’s not bad, but that doesn’t mean it’s a “great� film, and it’s certainly not a “classic" - it’s way too predictable for that.

jocky

great film-------- but yet again huddlestone pulls out the classic "predictable" line...yip..indeed considerring its based on true events-- ward beat neary just like that,,I know,,I remember the whole @i really irish@ overtones at the time,,the commentary is actually the real dialogue delivered at the time, So yeh it is predictable Tom.Inas much as it follows the predictable path of events past.. Ignore this 'slight' and enjoy a basically good boxing romp

Mike

I was pleasantly surprised by this film. As TO says, the story’s a little predictable, but nonetheless packs a few punches. That said, the relationship with Wahlberg’s daughter barely surfaces before being killed off – why? Amy Adams is a great actress and I should imagine this role was pretty easy for her. The surprise here is Wahlberg, who previously I’ve thought as very bland – in this he’s a good actor, and the relationship with Amy Adams works very well. Tonight was one of the initial showings in London - Cineworld Fulham – and it was packed, so I imagine this will be popular for a few weeks. Recommended. Three stars, but unlikely to win anything at the Oscars.

scrumpyjack

A feisty Amy Adams, well staged boxing and Bales ott mannerisms over drive steal the show. Highly enjoyable but far too over familiar to get (oscar voters style) excited about. 7+/10