The Fighter

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams

Summary: The Fighter is the true story of up-and-coming welterweight boxer “Irish” Micky Ward (Wahlberg).  Stories of athletes rising to the top against all odds aren’t new, but the appeal of this movie lies in the grittiness of the life Micky has lived.  Micky not only had to deal with living in the shadow of his boxer brother Dicky Ecklund (Bale), but also being managed by his domineering mother who doesn’t always have his best interest at heart. It’s not until he starts dating local bartender Charlene (Adams) that he gets the courage to sever ties with his family and focus on his career.  In the meantime Dicky is sent to prison where he breaks his crack addiction and re-evaluates his life.  Upon his release he focuses on helping Micky win the WBU Welterweight Title, which he does in 2000.

Always a character actor, Christian Bale immersed himself in the role of Dicky Ecklund.  The devotion paid off as we see Dicky struggle with his drug addiction and how it tears his family apart.  Wahlberg does a fine job with Micky but Bale is the real standout in this film and I’m sure he’ll get an Oscar nomination for this role.   Grade: B

Trivia: The gym used in the film for the training scenes is not a set; it’s the actual Lowell West End Gym where the real Micky Ward trained.  The gym is still open and being used today.

Rated: R – For language, violence, drug use, and sexuality.