Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Review: The Fighter Gives Good Vibrations

Who would've thought back in the 90s that Marky Mark, underwear model and rapper extraordinaire, would continue to wow us, and not (only) with his washboard abs.

People tend to forget how talented Mark Wahlberg actually is. Not only did he put together the once ground-breaking and hilarious, (now fizzling) Entourage, first to really showcase the bro-mance. But he was also Oscar-nominated in one of the greatest Gangster films ever, The Departed, playing a wise-ass detective and the only man left standing - an amazing accomplishment in a film where everyone else dies. Not to mention, you've officially made it when you get to work with Scorsese on just about anything.

Also starring a barely recognizable Christian Bale and Amy Adams, The Fighter is an intense and uplifting (based on a true) story about Micky “The Irish” Ward and his rise from ‘stepping stone’ boxer to his World Championship win. It's about an underdog overcoming physical and emotional obstacles (including probably the craziest, most dysfunctional family ever seen on film) to do what he loves. But really, at the root of it all was the relationship between two brothers, one always in the shadow of the other. And it's pretty good, too, with a scrappy and gritty feel reminiscent of Rocky.

Christian Bale's performance as big brother Dicky Eklund is jaw-dropping. He's pretty much guaranteed himself an Oscar nomination, for his convincing portrayal of a crack-addicted, washed-up boxer not ready or willing to come to terms with his disappointing life. It's kind of a sad reality that athletes must face once they pass their prime. Many turn to drugs to chase that high from winning, or to mask the disappointment they feel from losing.

We get a hard look at the tough lives of the working class, blue-collar residents of Lowell, Massachusetts and I can see some getting angry with their harsh depiction. At times, you don't know whether it's appropriate to laugh, because parts are actually quite funny (in a sad way), but a crack-head jumping out of a window shouldn't really be funny.

The film opens December 10th. Go see it.

1 comment:

  1. Looks great! Thanks for sharing your review!