A hard-hitting drama that hopes to knock the socks off moviegoers (puns very much intended), David O. Russell's real-life boxing story, The Fighter begins its theatrical release this upcoming Friday.
The latest TV promo/trailer for the film is online and, like the previous TV spot, it suggests that Russell's underdog sports story has an edge that sets it apart from more familiar and formulaic entries in the genre.
Mark Wahlberg plays the physically-intimidating but emotionally vulnerable boxer "Irish" Micky Ward in The Fighter, which tells the tale of the real-life boxer's rise to fame back in the 1990s/early 2000s. Christian Bale dropped a lot of weight for his part in the film as Micky's half-brother, Dickie, himself an almost-successful boxer whose life has devolved into a cycle of drug use and self-destructive behavior that threatens to ruin Micky's chances inside the ring.
While the Fighter's plot sounds fairly conventional on paper (Micky gets a supportive girlfriend, trains hard, and aims to heal himself/his family in the process), early word is that the flick doesn't feel like Rocky updated for 2010. The conflict between Micky and his relations (including his mom, played by indie actress Melissa Leo) looks to be realized in a raw manner, as the film's title almost refers more to its protagonist's battle against his own inner and personal demons (very deep, we know :-P).
Watch the new Fighter TV promo (via IGN) below:
The squalid surroundings and setting of The Fighter are a nice touch to a movie that wants to offer a more non-romanticized look at the struggles of a real-life athlete - not to mention that Russell's decision to film the boxing scenes like an actual match that's being televised on HBO is a welcome departure from the standard shaky cam approach to shooting said sequences.
Bale has been generating Oscar buzz for his performance and it's unlikely that he won't at least snag an acting nomination. The Fighter could walk away with a Best Picture nod as well, though the race to win the top prize is really just getting underway.
The Fighter begins a limited released on Dcember 10th, 2010 and will expand into additional theaters around the U.S. over the upcoming weeks.