The Academy Awards have come and gone, but that does not underrate the value of knowing whether or not ‘The Fighter’, along with its fellow nominees, deserved to be ranked as one of the year’s best films. Director David O. Russel’s dramatic sports movie, might initially comes across as your typical boxing flick. For those holding prejudice towards ‘The Fighter’ and are still on the fence as to whether or not to check it out, your lack of faith displeases me. ‘The Fighter’ is not like Rocky, granted that happed to be a great movie, or any of the other million sports movies out there, but rather serves as a reminder to how it’s possible for there to be development on a seemingly overplayed genre.
With heavy hitting actors like Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, you’d be hard-pressed to create a cinematic flop. The energy these actors resonate really allows the audience to take a step back and wonder why more movies don’t deliver poignant drama. ‘The Fighter’ represents more than just a boxing movie, but instead an emotional story about family and, love them or hate them, how they are a part of our lives. Not often do sports movies allow for showing long periods of family life, choosing to instead focus on the sport, and yet here we have a film that accomplishes in combining the two themes.
As for the actors, each and every one gave splendid performances, with the family dynamic hitting home. Mark Wahlberg serves as the perfect casting choice as his gentle and powerful demeanor allows the audience to sympathize with each and every plight that force its way into his life. From dealing with overprotective family members, who are in the game for their own reasons, to facing equally powerful fighters in the ring, with his only solace from it all taking the form of Amy Adams.
Giving one of the best performances in her film career, Amy Adams as a bartender couldn’t be more perfect. Her resilient attitude, engaging her problems headfirst without so much as flinching, allows her to fight for her own beliefs and for those she loves. Not afraid of a good rough and a tumble, Adams is the force which helps drive Walhberg. Yet then we have Christian Bale, and no matter your opinion on the actor, no one can say his dedication for the roles he undertakes is half-assed. Wahlberg’s on screen brother and meth addict, Bale not only creates his role, but breathes in an equally tantalizing amount of life. The interaction between him and Walhberg at times comes off as awkward, but so is the nature of their fraternal relationship.
‘The Fighter’ warrants the praise bestowed on it. I won’t say it’s one of the greatest movies I’ve seen in recent years, because that would be dishonest. Some will certainly enjoy the movie, while others won’t; I suppose it’s not for everyone, but that’s how it is in the world of cinema.