True-life story punches well above weight
the fighter Drama; Starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale
>BY MARK EVANS
It would be easy to believe that The Fighter is a Hollywood fiction, as realistic as Rocky.
In fact, it's based on a true story, and a very odd one at that.
Mark Wahlberg plays Massachussets Irish-American boxer Micky Ward, whose toughest opponents happen to be his oddball family.
His older brother Dicky (Christian Bale, in brilliant form) is a crack addict, his mother Alice (Melissa Leo) is a chain-smoking wagon who sees Micky as her meal ticket, and there's a few ugly sisters.
After being battered into submission in a mismatched fight, organised by his clueless family, Micky is given the chance to train, and have a last pop at a title, in Las Vegas.
He's also found love with bartender Charlene (Amy Adams), who has got his interests at heart but dominates him as much as his family do, causing friction.
But the fight scenes are brilliant, and gory at times, and Wahlberg is his dependable self, playing the low-key good guy.
It's a knock-out.
DVD EXTRAS: Include a commentary by Director David O Russell, and a Filming The Fighter featurette. Blu-Ray/DVD combo has deleted scenes, with optional commentary, an extra featurette and a digital copy of the movie.