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The Fighter: Blu Ray review

The Fighter

Rating: R16
Released by Roadshow Entertainment

Based on a true story, Mark Wahlberg stars as Micky Ward, a boxer who's living in the shadow of his older brother Dicky Eklund (a wonderfully wiry and sparky, Golden Globe and Oscar award winning Christian Bale.) Eklund is the pride of Lowell, Massachusetts; a boxer who once knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard, he's the celeb of the working class town.

However, Eklund is racked with addiction to crack cocaine and is dragging the family down - as well as his brother's hopes of staging some kind of fighting revival. Plus along with the fearsome matriarch of the nine strong family, Alice (a ferocious Golden Globe and Oscar award winning Melissa Leo) in charge of their careers, Micky is going nowhere fast.

So when Micky meets Amy Adams' Charlene, a local bartender college drop out, a tender romance develops and Micky begins to start to believe in himself and his ability again.

This is a knock out of a film which pulls no punches.

But it's the ensemble cast which gives this true story a human feel and raise it well above the mire of a clichéd boxing film.

Christian Bale is astoundingly good as Eklund, a sinewy frame supporting a "can't take your eyes off him" performance. There's energy and world class acting on show here as the small town hero who was on the cusp of having it all but blows it for the cycle of addiction.

Yet, while Bale's great, thanks to the sensible and restrained direction of David O Russell, it doesn't detract from the rest of the cast - specifically Mark Wahlberg, whose subtly underplayed performance is the perfect antithesis to Bale's sparky energy. He's an assured presence here and conveys the torment of realizing the family's holding him back and the pain of having to try and make that clean break.

Extras: Director, Filming the Fighter and deleted scenes

Rating: 9/10