Friday, December 31, 2010

the Fighter--a review

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Upon watching the Fighter, I expected from the start, an all out machismo fest embellished with a revisitation of Mark Wahlberg's ripped body from his days modeling Calvin Klein underwear. I was almost all wrong. 

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I should've anticipated as much, but the acting all around was spot-on; especially by Christian Bale, whose gaunt crackhead has-been brother boxer act was impenetrable. 

As far as I've seen this is his third reprise of an emaciated savior character that he's perfected, including his haunting portrayal as an insomniac factory worker losing his mind in the Machinist, and German-American, live snake-eating pilot Dieter Dengler in Werner Herzog's Rescue Dawn. 

Amy Adams also shined in her role as the trashy, but classy college drop-out, bartender girlfriend of Mickey Ward, and out of nowhere Melissa Leo scores big points with her performance as the overbearing mother of the Ward brothers and their seven incredible sisters.

The entire movie in itself was not tense, but there were a few heart-palpatating moments that made me, and the audience around me, swoon with an all-out, muttering anxiousness. 

There were also parallel scenes that were not for the faint-hearted, easily grossed-out citizen. As well as a few cringing moments where a diversion of eyes was necessary to avoid watching the splatterings of pain being inflicted on the sweet protagonist. 

And how could the conflict surrounding a beloved family member's drug addiction tearing his loved ones apart, not make an impact on the psyche? The answer is: BOOM.

All of these factors are what make the Fighter a romantic and compelling film, about a boxer trying to make a name for himself, outside of his brother's shadow, and his mother's bad management.
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