Sound On Sight critic Simon Howell unfortunately was the critic to write a review on David O. Russell’s The Fighter for our website. I say unfortunate because Mr. Howell gave what I think is a great film, a bad review.
In his review Howell goes on to say, “The Fighter occasionally transcends expectation but mostly caves to formula.” Howell than goes on to say, “Business is business, however, and ultimately The Fighter has to at least attempt to deliver the formula sports-movie goods, and on that front it has nothing new to offer. The two major fights in the film are competently staged, but despite the fact that they occur on different continents, it’s difficult to ignore that they play out almost identically.”
Well is Mr. Simon Howell right? Kevin B. Lee produced a video giving a side-by-side comparison of a real boxing match versus the one “translated” in the movies. It’s an excellent view of how the filmmakers went about recreating the fight — punch for punch.
But that’s not all Mr. Howell said. In his review he also stated, “Really, though, there’s no filmic effect half as committed as Bale’s typically method performance, as he retreats to his Machinist / Rescue Dawn body weight, wears a persistently slacked jaw, and cranks up the pained goofiness. It’s a performance that might have come across as annoying showboating were it not for Wahlberg, whose presence is so deliberately dialed down that it feels just as mannered as Bale, only with inverse energy. It’s not a subtle balancing act, but it works.”
Well fans of the film like myself, may be interested in watching the documentary of the real life story the film is based on. If you’ve seen The Fighter, then you know that for most of the film, Eklund (Christian Bale) is being followed by cameras for a HBO documentary on the life of crack addicts. That documentary titled High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell can now be viewed in its entirety online for free. The folks over at Snagfilms have made the feature available, for anyone who wants to know more about the true events that inspired the best sports movie of the year. You can view a clip below.
I should be posting up my review sometime this week and I also recommend our readers and listeners to tune into episode 252 of Sound On Sight Radio in which we will review The Fighter side by side another one of my favourite boxing films.