Micky (Mark Wahlberg) has always stood in the shadow of his older brother Dicky (Christian Bale) who has seen his heyday as a boxer 15 years previously and has since descended into drug addiction. Micky is a boxer himself, but he struggles with it and is much defeated. It’s only when Dicky goes to prison and Micky finds his new girlfriend Charlene (Amy Adams) that Micky comes into his own.
The Fighter has an exceptional cast and a fine story, but it drags a bit and I don’t think I have enough love for boxing to really be able to appreciate this film. [And when I say I don’t have enough love for boxing, I mean that I don’t get boxing. At all. I don’t get how you can do it and I get much less why you would want somebody you love to do it.] It remained a little stale.
It always surprises me when it turns out that Mark Wahlberg can actually act. For some reason, I’m not able to take him seriously most of the time [I think it’s because he makes so many crap movies], and then he goes ahead and really gives a wonderful performance and I’m all awe. And that’s the case here as well. He has a gravity in this role that is not only an amazing anchor for the more flashy performances of Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo, but is also wonderful to see in its own right.
Unsurprisingly, the supporting cast was great, too. If you just let her do something different than being blue-eyed every once in a while, Amy Adams is a good actress. And I expected nothing else from Melissa Leo and Christian Bale. [Though it did take away from the film as a whole that Christian Bale is not the kind of guy who looks good when he loses too much weight*, especially if he plays balding drug-addicts. And believe me, if I don’t find Christian Bale sexy anymore, he really isn’t. ;)]
The movie takes itself very seriously and it could have done with a few more light-hearted moments. Especially around the middle, it gets a little too slow and dry and you just want them to get a move on. Maybe this would have been different if I had a little more interest in the topic but, let’s face it, I saw this film for Christian Bale and the Oscar nominations.
Summarising: It’s a good film. It’s just not very interesting.
*Also, I wouldn’t want to be his metabolism. Holy crap, he changes body types more often than should be possible, much less healthy.