*While the game is pretty awesome, I for one am a bit leery about a video game adaptation. According to the article above Wahlberg states
The idea that [Russell] has is just insane. So hopefully we’ll be making that movie this summer.I know Max Payne (and well, just about every other video game movie, for that matter) sucked, but this is David O. Russell we're talking about here.
Melissa Leo (The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Homicide: Life on the Street, and Treme) plays his mother/manager, Alice Ward, who treats Micky as her meal ticket as much as her son and has a blind spot for her fuck-up of a son, Dicky. Both she and Amy Adams have been nominated for Best Supporting Actress for their turns. Adams plays Micky's sassy bartender girlfriend Charlene Fleming, who pushes him to look out for himself rather than continuing to put his dysfunctional and selfish family before his own needs.
As with really any David O. Russell film, The Fighter is primarily character-driven. This is clearly Russell's bread-and-butter. Yes, the stories are ineresting for the most part, but his films' success owe largely to their performances. This is no exception. The characters are vivid and flawed. Across the board, David O. Russell manages to get full realization of these characters from his actors, especially from Bale and Leo, both of whom disappear into their characters.
Speaking in purely narrative terms, this film bears a strong resemblance to Rocky. This is not a bad thing. It doesn't feel derivative. They are different films. Where Rocky Balboa is on his own in Rocky, Micky Ward is hindered by his family. There is also the mob element that is not present in The Fighter. Ultimately, though it is about an extreme underdog who had been down on their luck, who gets a shot at the belt and shows well.
On an emotional level, it seems impossible to me that you would not be drawn in. It is hard not to root for Micky. Coming out of the movie, both Mark and I were pumped up beyond belief. Even with some asshole lady behind me (I actually had to raise a card at the Alamo for the first time ever--and this was after telling her to "shut the fuck up" twice), I was thoroughly engrossed and invested in Micky's success/failure.
Again, maybe I'm a whore for sports movies, but The Fighter was great, easily one of my five favorite movies from this Oscar year.