Monday, 14 February 2011

The Fighter

Yes! I've tracked down reviews from a current release that is still in cinemas! The Fighter tells the story of Mark Wahlberg's "Irish" Micky Ward, a boxer, and his brother/trainer/crackhead, Christian Bale's Dicky Eklund. I, and many others, feel this was an exceptionally good film, with fantastic performances from all involved. This review from Christian Spotlight disagrees. Stupidly:
With all due respect to the Ward family, I must agree with Roger Eberts review (I like Roger Ebert. He is one of my favourite film critics. But he was wrong about this film, as he was wrong about Kick-Ass. And anyway, Ebert still liked the film a little bit...). I know Lowell, as I trained there as a teenager in a sweaty dump with other serious fighters, middle of January, no treadmills, nowhere to run due to snow and inner city, this was 1962, you sparred, skip rope, hit the speedbag, hit the heavy bag, shadow boxed. And I still do. (Woop-ti-doo for you. It doesn't matter if you know Lowell. It doesn't make your opinion any more valid)

This movie does not showcase boxing (Just because it's about a boxer doesn't mean it has to be about boxing per se). It broadcasts the domination of a young man by his mother and 7 blowhard sisters (That's because its about Micky Ward's life. Not just his fights). It does not champion his Ring magazine “Fight of the Year” with Augustus Burton, 10 rounds of pure bull boxing, it does not showcase his three fights with Arturo Gatti which set him up with fame and fortune as he has now (Well they all take place after the movie has finished. Those fights weren't what the fight was about). In fact, he will be here in Nashua NH to sign autographs today at the movie theater. Nashua is right over the border from Lowell about 13 miles. (This is important to the review how?)

It is mostly soap opera, screaming women and cursing (It's about life. Ward's life. Those were dominant elements of his life. Ergo, that is what the film concentrates on.). The boxing is minimal, don't waste your money (If you want to see boxing matches, watch a fucking boxing match). It is so far from Rocky it is a joke (It is indeed far from Rocky. This is a properly good film about an interesting character, whereas Rocky is an enjoyable film, but no more than that). Nice try, but it is no boxing movie, and just not heroic enough (It is a boxing movie, in the same way that any other film about a boxer is a a boxing movie. The characters are far more interesting than just the fights taken out of context). Christianity does not even exist in this mess. (It isn't meant to. And besides, you complain about a film that isn't christian, but also complain about the lack of boxing? Boxing, lets not forget, is literally a man beating up another man until he can't get up again. Where is the christianity in that?)
Well, I got desperate, so here's a 3 star review from
There is a very high rating of this film on internet movie database (2 things: first, the film deserves a high rating; and second, IMDB is shit for that kind of thing. Citizen Kane is down in 37th in its Top250. Behind things like The Matrix.). I actually went to the theater to watch it and I don't think it deserves anything more than a 6/10 (I would say at least an eight. The acting is a joy to behold). Wahlberg is OK (As Kermode and Bale point out, without Wahlberg's understated performance, the film would have fallen apart because of the madness of Dicky. Bale needed a straight man), Amy Adams' character was quite despicable for some reason (In what way was she despicable? She had Micky's best interests at heart. Far more than can be said about his mother.)(maybe some sort of intelligent formula (What does that even mean? Do intelligent women scare you or something?)) and Christian Bale was the saving grace of the film. (He was engrossing. But didn't need to save the film)

Very ordinarily narrated and the direction left me gasping out of despair at certain times (The direction was fine. Nothing special, he should definitely not have been Oscar nominated ahead of Christopher Nolan, but perfectly good. And the fights were excellently choreographed and filmed), maybe it's the bad luck Wahlberg brings to any film featuring him. (Ye-es. Bad luck. That'll be why Boogie Nights, The Departed, Three Kings among others failed critically and financially then...)

There were maybe 2 good scenes in the whole film. (There were significantly more than that. The scene when he is at home with Charlene telling his mother and sisters that he was going to move to Las Vegas to train was wonderful. And then there was the scene where Ward tells his brother that he can't train with him anymore. And then there was the scene where Dicky gets arrested. That's three off the top of my head for you right there.)

I could have lived my life without watching this film (You could probably live without seeing any film though, couldn't you...) but I can't say that about some of the better films this year (Black Swan, T.S.N, Buried and The Town) (I don't think you'd die if you hadn't seen one of those films... I haven't seen any of them yet...)

Please watch the film before buying the DVD, it's over-rated in my view. (I suppose that's reasonable advice, but I'm going to pretend it isn't... I would say it deserves most of its plaudits. Except the Best Director nod anyway...)
 Well, I shall endeavour to bring you more bad reviews tomorrow! Till then my adoring public!

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