Yes, it’s a boxing movie. Let’s just get that out of the way. There are several scenes in the boxing ring with two guys making each other bleed. However, it is also a movie about how one can overcome challenges like a very dysfunctional family and achieve hopes and dreams.
The Fighter is based on the true story of Micky Ward and Dickey Eklund, half-brothers and aspiring boxing champions from Lowell, Massachusetts. Christian Bale (who won an Oscar for this role) plays Dickey, a has-been boxer who spends most of his time smoking crack and disappointing his family. Mark Wahlberg plays Micky, the younger brother who still has time to achieve his dream of becoming a boxing champ. Melissa Leo (who also won an Oscar for her role) plays their sharp-tongued mother who is their boxing manager and the dominating force in the family. The future is not looking bright at the beginning of the film, where Dickey sometimes trains Micky when he comes out of his crack-induced haze. Micky meets sassy bartender Charlene (Amy Adams) who helps him get away from his damaging family and towards success in the ring.
Boxing movies may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but fine performances in this film by Christian Bale and Melissa Leo shouldn’t be missed. The Fighter comes out on DVD on March 15.