EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|FIGHTER, THE (director: Scott Silver/Paul Tamasy/Eric Johnson/based on a story by Keith Dorrington/Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson; cinematographer: Hoyte Van Hoytema; editor: Pamela Martin; music: Michael Brook; cast: Mark Wahlberg (Micky Ward), (Dicky Eklund), (Charlene Fleming), (Alice Ward), Jack McGee (George Ward), Mickey O'Keefe (Himself), Frank Renzulli (Sal); Runtime: 116; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Mark Wahlberg/David Hoberman/Todd Lieberman/Ryan Kavanaugh/Dorothy Aufiero/ Mr. Tamasy; Paramount; 2010); screenwriters:|
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The true story of the junior
welterweight boxer "Irish"
Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg)
Lowell, Massachusetts, a bedroom community of BostonPaul Tamasy and Eric JohnsonScott Silver. I Heart Huckabees" directs
with great skill this familiar conventional Hollywood boxing story
(think Rocky!) about a working-class boxer dreaming about being champ
and struggling against all odds to see if he can fulfill his dream.
Russell makes it seem fresh and lively, and makes damn sure it's upbeat
and packs a wallop.
The story picks up in 1993,
and the 31-year-old Micky Ward is an unassuming nice guy boxer without
too much smarts or success, who is managed by his crass controlling mom
Alice Ward ( ) and
trained by his irresponsible, flaky, former boxer,
crack-head, older 40-year-old half brother Dicky Eklund (). Micky is loyal to them
despite their poor treatment of him and that they're ruining his career
by making bad decisions for him. Dicky's a legend in Lowell, known as
the ''pride of
Lowell;'' a legend built on a headline fight in 1978 with Sugar Ray Leonard--who might have been
knocked down by Dicky or just slipped.
When things look their
bleakest Micky falls in love with tough-chick bartender Charlene (), who makes him see how his mom and
brother are harming him. Dicky
gets arrested for impersonating a police officer during a robbery scam
and for resisting arrest, and spends time in prison. This
leads to a painful fallout with the dysfunctional close-knit family
when Micky gets a new manager, legit
local taxi cab businessman (Frank
Renzulli), and trainer, the local policeman Mickey O'Keefe.
Mark Wahlberg's brilliantly conceived likable subdued performance.
is an HBO undercover
documentary on crack-addiction in America, with a segment on promising boxer Dicky Eklund turning
into a junkie who is roaming the streets in Lowell--where the
industrial revolution started in America.
The Fighter doesn't bring anything new to the genre, but I loved the acting, appreciated how good the fight scenes looked and thought it got things right as a crowd-pleaser while never forgetting to reflect on how influential is one's milieu to one's upbringing.
REVIEWED ON 12/13/2010 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ