Most of you who know me well know that im very difficult at times and hard to please. I give out compliments but I'm very careful to give them out. I have a very high standard that must be met before I will give my stamp of approval to anything. Im extremely critical.
Last night I saw the movie The Fighter. Lately, in the last 4 or 5 years, it has been very hard to go see a movie that can capture your attention and isn't contrived. Its to the point that its a chore to find a decent movie to go out and see. So I say this with that in mind: The Fighter is the best movie I've seen in years and probably in my top 10 of all time.
The major thing I take from it is the atmosphere it created from start to finish. It very much had a Rocky feel to it. But, much like Rocky, it wasn't about boxing. It was about people, family, brothers, and the struggle to overcome. Of course the movie plays on the underdog factor, much like Rocky did.
The acting was superlative, and it was an ensemble cast that totally delivered. Many will talk about Mark Wahlberg, and he was very good. Ive always liked him because he can really appear genuine in every character he plays. Christian Bale was off the charts as Dicky Eklund, and he is obviously an actor for the ages, much like Deniro and Pacino were in their younger years. He certainly goes deep into the character and goes places most of us never could.
But what made the movie come alive was the rest of the cast, specifically Amy Adams, who played Mark Wahlberg's girlfriend, and Melissa Leo, who played his mother. The authenticity they delivered in those roles tied the whole movie together.
The scenery and the cinematography tied it all up together, and the opening shot in the movie pulling back from the street close up shot to a wide shot set the whole thing up.
It has been a long time since Ive seen an audience root for a character like I saw in that theater last night. My last memory of that was seeing Rocky 1 back in 1977.
It is very hard to duplicate that emotion to the standard that Rocky set, but this film did that. It is definitely a movie I will watch over and over because it is that good.
If you haven't seen it, you must. It is so rare these days to see a movie of that quality, don't let it slip by you and try and watch it at home on tv or by rental, it just won't be the same.
Don't worry if you don't like boxing. This movie is not about boxing. It's about people.