The story of welterweight champion Irish Mickey Ward may end with The Big Fight, but it doesn’t quite take the expected path to get there.
It’s been a long tough year at the box office, lots of mediocre movies, nothing that stands out until this weekend when we get two completely different films Tron and The Fighter. Both stand out for different reasons, I’ll tackle Tron: Legacy in a different review. When I walked into the screening of The Fighter, I walked in cold, didn’t know anything about the movie beyond what I learned talking with Anthony Thomas – one of the boxers in the movie. I was there to see True Grit, but the movie was switched to The Fighter at the last minute.
This movie had all the elements that I generally like:
- Christian Bale – check
- Amy Adams – check
- Mark Wahlberg – check
- A story about an underdog – check (As Eddie Murphy said Elvis said – “We gotta win this race!”)
Yes, there was almost no way this movie should have failed, I’m a sucker for any one of these things and this movie has all four. It is time I come out of the closet and admit I, generally, love sports movies. Yes, I know they are usually “cliche’d” but things become cliché because they work. The Fighter is based on a true story but it includes all of the generic story points – a down on his luck local Boston boxer, Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) has a career that is hampered by his crack addicted brother Dicky (Christian Bale). Dicky was an up and coming Boxer who can’t get past his one moment in the limelight – knocking down Sugar Ray Leonard. Micky is caught between doing what’s right for his career and sticking by his family (family brings you down man!). Amy Adams sluts it up for her role as a bar girl who Micky falls for.
Many folks may not know who he is, but be on the lookout for Anthony H. Thomas. He’s a long time friend and former assistant to Mark Wahlberg who has had numerous cameos in most of Wahlberg’s friends and from a personal standpoint he’s one of the inspirations behind the HBO Hit television show Entourage, which is loosely based on Wahlberg’s Hollywood life. He is best known as one of the original members of The Funky Bunch. During my recent conversation with him he gave off a good vibration (ok, I couldn’t resist). This Christmas he plays a boxer in Mark’s latest movie – The Fighter.