The Fighter

Mark Wahlberg ("Date Night") has been trying to get this film made for years, so if we want to see someone persevere against long odds over a long period of time, he's our man. He kept himself in shape to play a boxer even when it appeared that all was lost. Way to go, Mark!

Wahlberg plays real-life welterweight boxer Mickey Ward who is saddled with a mother from hell and a brother who is her spawn! I got so exasperated by those two bozos I could hardly contain myself. The fact that they are played to perfection only made them so aggravating I wanted to slap them! The brother is Mickey's coach, while Mom is his manager. Early on, we can see how well THAT is working!
  • Christian Bale ("The Dark Knight") a method actor, lost a significant amount of weight to play Mickey's crack-head older half-brother, a one-trick pony who had (and lost) a match with Sugar Ray Leonard; that is his one and only claim to fame. He is an egocentric, monomaniacal motormouth who cannot accept that maybe his brother deserves a little attention for his hard work.
  • Melissa Leo ("Conviction") is that horrible mother...nine children and the seven daughters are a clamor of harpies (I just looked it up) who still live at home and answer only to her. By the way, Mickey was conceived during a separation, so his siblings are only half...
  • Amy Adams ("Leap Year") is the barmaid who falls for our hero. She can see the family dynamics and understands the perils of linking their future with Mickey's brother, an undependable drug addict, particularly when a title fight seems to be in the offing. This gal is tough and doesn't budge an inch even when out- numbered by those harpies!
Director David O. Russell worked before with Wahlberg ("Three Kings") and he captures the adrenalin rush of a close match. Of course as the "villain," Bale dominates his every scene; during the final credits the real-life brothers are filmed and even then, Mickey says, with a wry smile, "I can never get a word in edgewise!"

This is Lowell, Massachusetts, a working-class town filled with working- class people. Because we are in a gym a good portion of the time, be prepared for LOTS of profanity!