August 7, 2011

#134: The Fighter (6/10)

It seem like I always have a backlog of movies to write about and no time to do it.  It has been over 2 weeks since I saw The Fighter, and it is actually tough for me to remember my initial reaction. I definitely liked it a lot more than I thought I would, but I had really low expectations.

When I first saw the preview for it last year it didn't seem like the type of  movie that would appeal to me.  Its run at the Oscars only made me want to see it less.  Despite the positive reviews I hadn't really planned on going out of my way to see it.  Then I noticed it was streaming on Netflix instant, so I gave it a shot.

The Fighter was nothing like I expected. I thought it was going to be flat and heavy handed.  I expected to be bored, and I definitely was ready to hate Mr. Wahlberg's performance. I've never been a big fan of his anyway. Surprisingly his style of acting worked very well for me in his role as Mickey. It was a nice balance with Bale playing his brother.

The thing that surprised me most was how goofy the movie was. I couldn't take half of the people seriously at all. Besides Dickey, the rest of the family was ridiculous.  The sisters were a total joke. I didn't expect the film to have that type of levity considering the subject matter.  I thought it would be about crack addiction and boxing. It contained both of those things, but the drug story line wasn't nearly as in-your-face as I expected it to be.  The boxing turned out a lot better than I initially thought it would to. The moments that were supposed offer high drama were the worst parts of the film in my opinion.  That is where the cheesiness showed through. When Dickey gets out of prison and they have the confrontation in the gym it felt silly. That could have been because Mark Wahlberg had to deliver the genuine emotional lines, and that usually doesn't work out too well.

By the end of the film I was getting into it.  I had a lot of fun watching it. It wasn't nearly as dull as I thought. That being said, I didn't get a whole lot out of watching this movie... which is fine. You don't have to get something out of every film you watch, but usually the Oscar bait films offer a little more to chew on.  I guess I was pleasantly surprised by how simple, and enjoyable, The Fighter turned out to be.

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