Movie Details

The Fighter

"The Fighter" is a drama about boxer `Irish` Micky Ward`s unlikely road to the world light welterweight title. His Rocky-like rise was shepherded by half-brother Dicky Ecklund (Christian Bale), a boxer-turned-trainer who rebounded in life after having his life destroyed by drugs and crime.

Language: English
Subtitle: NA
Classification: M18
Release Date: 6 Jan 2011
Genre: Drama / Sports
Running Time: 1 Hour 55 Minutes
Distributor: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo
Director: David O. Russell
Format: NA

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Review
Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

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Watch this if you liked: “Ali”, “The Wrestler”, “Million Dollar Baby”, “The Town”

Boxing biopic "The Fighter" isn't "Ip Man" in terms of fight action nor "The Wrestler" in terms of the emotional resonance that usually follow this genre - but it is a solid entertainer with a decent enough narrative, backed by a powerful, committed cast.

The white underclass gets the spotlight in this tale about real-life welterweight pro boxer Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) from Lowell, Massachusetts, who once held the World Boxing Union belt; and his half-brother Dicky Ecklund (Christian Bale), 'The Pride Of Lowell', who was featured in HBO's "America Undercover" documentary "High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell". It's a family drama with very, very watchable characters; a suitably trashy Amy Adams playing Ward's romantic interest and a chain-smoking Melissa Leo playing his manageress mum, not to mention the seven sisters that hang about in the house complaining about life.

Devoid of the cheap sentimentality that would have been easy to milk from this setup, the screenplay for "The Fighter" thankfully focuses on the fleetingness of family dynamics, paving the way for some truly ace performances. To date, the chameleonic Christian Bale has already bagged a Golden Globe for his role here as the charming has-been brother and he steals every scene from his co-stars, particularly from a repressed Wahlberg, who looks a bit confused with his role, although suspiciously intentional and strangely effective. Well, he must know what he's doing since he has fought for years to bring this story to the silver screen as a producer as well. However, as Roger Ebert's review pointed out, Wahlberg's distant take of Micky doesn't ask for too much audience involvement, so we don't end up caring for the character as much as we should. Funny how anyone who follows boxing would know of Micky's history of sustaining beatings round after round before a late TKO with a left hook and expect the movie to do the same.

Still, "The Fighter" packs a punch that is steady enough to warrant your attention. You will enjoy it enough, if only just to see Christian Bale jump out of a crack house window not once but twice in the movie to avoid being found out by his mother.

Cinema Online, 18 January 2011
   
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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