Movie Review: The Fighter

by John Wester, December 28, 2010

Hollywood produces frauds

From lives that once had meat;

No one in the know applauds

Hollywood’s latest feat

When it produces movies of

Redemption. Triumph. Real love.

* * *

I like watching boxing like I like to watch football. But I always feel guilty because someone’s getting hurt. I watch to see power and skill I wish I had.

Today, Katheryn had a vacation day and I dragged her to see The Fighter, the movie just out that the critics have been raving about. Oscar potential they say.

The movie is about Micky Ward and his older brother who knocked Sugar Ray Leonard down in a fight that Micky’s brother lost. His brother trained Micky for fights while enjoying crack cocaine that his bragging rights earned him to get away with — until he went to prison.

Katheryn went with me to the movie because she likes the star of the movie — Mark Wahlberg, born the same year she was. She wouldn’t have gone otherwise, she hates violence. But Wahlberg was Markey Mark in a rap group she used to listen to. His older brother, Donnie, was a rapper in New Kids on the Block. And Katheryn loved Markey’s stunning underwear ads for Calvin Klein. She also thought he was especially some­thing when he played Dirk Diggler, the porn star who could keep it up inBoogie Nights — a film with Bert Reynolds.

Katheryn has forgiven Wahlberg's violent and racist past. I like Wahlberg for his working class upbringing. His dad was a Teamster, his mother a nurse’s aid — and I forgive him his Catholicism — still attending Mass every Sunday.

Katheryn and I were both disappointed in The Fighter. I’ve watched enough fights to know the boxing in The Fighter happens only in movies. Wahlberg says he trained as a fighter for four years for this movie. I believe him. Too bad the writers and the director didn’t train as well — they might have known how to stage a fight.

Katheryn thought the movie dragged. It did. And it was so hokey no one could believe six sisters sitting on a couch together trading insults with Micky’s girlfriend. And six sisters coming out the door together to confront Micky’s girlfriend? Such bullshit. The Ward family must like the money they get from the movie and the attention the movie brought them. But they surely have laughed as hard as Katheryn and I did when they watched it.

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