Not since “Rocky” or “Raging Bull” has a boxing movie delivered a knock out. “Ali” was great as well but everyone knew who Muhammad Ali was in the boxing world. Now people will know the name Micky Ward because of the movie “The Fighter.”
Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) is younger half brother to Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale) who went toe to toe with Sugar Ray Leonard when Leonard was on top of the boxing world. Dicky is from Lowell Massachusetts and for years after the great fight with Sugar Ray, he was called the Pride of Lowell. Now many years have passed and Dicky is looking for a comeback as a documentary crew is following him, yet his younger brother Micky is starting to turn heads as an up and coming talent in the area.
Micky grew up adoring his older sibling Dicky as a fighter and now since Dicky has not got his comeback chance in the ring he helps Micky with his own career. Along with their mother and manager Alice Ward (Melissa Leo) the two have become Micky’s management team along with Micky’s seven sisters. All of them are looking to make it back to the top and back to the days when the Wards and Eklunds were on top of the boxing world.
Unfortunately, for Micky this management team has maybe lost its touch with reality, with Dicky distracted by his own demons with drugs and Alice perhaps still living in denial that his favorite son Dicky is not quite the champion, trainer and mentor to Micky he once was in his younger days.
Enter Charlene Flemming (Amy Adams) the toughest girl that might be tougher than Micky outside of the boxing ring. Micky becomes infatuated with Charlene and the two begin to hit it off really well. However, Micky does come from a family that has seven pesky sisters that are not fond of this new girl and a over bearing mother that is more concerned with protecting her boxer than seeing Micky happy with someone.
Sparks do fly between everyone and even Dicky’s troubles finally catch up to him leaving Micky in the middle of everything. In addition Micky still has to fight, but how does one fight, when his own family is fighting amongst themselves. Not only the feud between Charlene and the family but the problems that Dicky has brought to Micky’s family along with Alice who is always fighting with her own husband George Ward (Jack McGee) and step father to Dicky who also sees Dickey as a big problem for Mickey’s future success in boxing.
Then there is the boxing and “The Fighter” must rise to the top and also find a way to keep everything aside and also try to keep his family from killing one another. This movie is more than boxing it is really about family.
“The Fighter” is a great movie as this review gives it four and a half stars. Christian Bale is awesome and viewers can hardly tell that this guy played the role of Batman in “The Dark Knight.” Mark Wahlberg gives a great performance not only looking like an actual boxer, but one that can take a pretty good beating as well. While Melissa Leo as Alice Ward is very deserving of her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, Amy Adams as Charlene was a spark that lifted the story and was another strong performance. Directed by David Russel, look for the real life Micky and Dicky at the end of this great film as they do make an appearance.
Rated R and to see who played all those pesky sisters head to IMDb.com