The Fighter
Director: David O. Russell
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo
115 Min./ USA

Dicky Ecklund is a former boxer and well known as “The Pride of Lowell”. This title is thanks to his memorable victory on Sugar Ray Leonard. Today his life is mainly drugs, this while he actually needs to train his half-brother Mickey Ward. The sports career of Ward is slow. This mainly due to bad management of his mother, who is also manager, and the lack of advice and training from his brother Dicky.

When his brother at some point ends up in jail, Mickey decides to change his career. He takes the advice of his father and girlfriend and decides to go on with new manager and a new trainer. His career finally takes the big leap everyone is waiting for. His family problems however are only getting bigger. Especially when Dicky also is being released and expects to be his trainer again.

The Fighter is a great movie, thanks to the superb acting performances from Christian Bale and Melissa Leo. In the film we do not only follow the rise of Mickey Ward, but we also see the rise and fall of Dicky Ecklund. In this movie HBO is making a documentary about his life. The documentary is beautifully integrated into the film.

The Fighter is much more than a boxing movie. It is an intense drama about acceptance, the struggle that Ward had with his family. A rightful winner of 2 Oscars. Perhaps the movie should have won more.


Review by: Sieto Kooijker