The Fighter is the real life story of brothers, Micky and Dicky Ward. Dicky (Bale) deals with his own problems, from living in the past to his drug problems while Micky (Wahlberg) tries to get one last push at becoming more than a stepping stone in the fight game. Of course, there’s also their mother (Melissa Leo), their horde of sisters, and the love interest (Amy Adams).
I’m a big Bale and Adams fan, so the thought of them in a sports movie sells me instantly. However, it isn’t much of a sports movie. Raging Bull and Rocky still easily beat out The Fighter with action scenes. It’s what happens out of the ring that makes this one of the greats. For starters, Bale, without the acting-limiting Batman mask, gives the performance of his career as Dicky. You sometimes think he is overacting and making a spectacle of the real Dicky, then the credits roll. The footage of the real life eldest brother shows you how, spot on Christian Bale plays him, from the voice to the constant movements, to even the small mannerisms.
Secondly, this film really covers all of the bases. For one, it’s really funny. Not comedic/SNL funny, but real life funny. You can’t help but laugh when the sisters start trash talking, or Dicky jumps out of a window to avoid his mom. But just like that, it changes and you can’t stop feeling bad for some of the situations these people find themselves in. Emotions are high (amazing post-fight editing) and low (seriously fantastic performances all around), and change between the two almost instantly.