To say that Christian Bale becomes a character may be the understatement of 2010.Â And I’m glad to get it in just under the wire.Â Bale, along with Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams lead the way in what was probably the best movie I’ve seen in the last couple of years, “The Fighter.”Â Based on a true story, Wahlberg portrays boxer Micky Ward, and Bale plays his washed-up boxer/drug addict brother, Dicky.Â Gritty, intense, edgy, real.Â Those are few words I would use to describe the action.Â And it’s not just about boxing.Â In fact, non-boxing fans will love this movie just as much.Â Boxing is merely the backdrop for this film.Â It’s more about family and relationships and the sub-culture of growing up and living in South Boston.
And while Walhberg is very good in a role that seems right up his alley, Christian Bale steals the movie.Â He’s so good that you actually forget you’re watching a movie, unless you’re me and you’re irritated by people behind you explaining the movie to each other every five minutes.Â Bale actually looked physically like someone strung out on crack.Â He was gaunt, pale, and unfocused but still somehow endearing as the brother who actually had a title shot against Sugar Ray Leonard in 1978.Â For some reason, I don’t have a vote in the Academy Awards, but if I did, my Best Supporting Actor Oscar would go to Bale.
Another thing this movie has going for it is the actual boxing action.Â It is very real, believable, and authentic.Â How many times has a good movie been ruined by actors “trying” to play football, or basketball, or singing?Â Not this one.Â The training scenes and the fights are as close to the real-deal as you will ever see.
F-Word Alert:Â if the liberal use of the mother-of-all-swear-words is a deal breaker, you might want to stay home.Â And by liberal, I mean probably somewhere around 100 times.
While at the movie at the beautiful River Cinema 15, I enjoyed a popcorn and 25% Sierra Mist/75% Red PowerAde beverage.Â I invented that drink about four years ago.
The Fighter:Â 4.5 stars out of 5.