Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale team up to make this movie something to remember.
The story of Micky Ward and his lesser known older brother Dicky Eklund is wrought out of family conflict the likes of which most people will never have to know. Micky Ward's (Wahlberg) family is introduced to the viewer in the opening scenes of the movie as having at least two fathers, with the possibility of a third father siring some of the 9 siblings who claim a relation to the boxer. The family is tightly knit, though, evidenced by the fact that Dicky (Bale) trains his brother and their mother, Alice Ward, manages the pair of them.
Dicky spends most of the early part of the movie with a camera crew in tow, who are carefully filming what Dicky is calling his comeback. At the bar when the crew settles down to talk to the family, Micky works up the courage to talk to a gorgeous bartender named Charlene (Amy Adams). Micky and Charlene quickly bond over some early disappointments in his boxing career and Micky tries to introduce Charlene into the family at a time when Dicky's life begins to unravel. The tensions that this creates becomes the core of the movie, which is bolstered by a strong backdrop of an extraordinarily interesting fighting career.
After watching this movie, the quality of the acting stands out above other films that I've seen recently. It's easy to mistrust or despise almost every character at some point in the film, which is a real accomplishment considering that the overall story doesn't come out as a depressing biopic about an ugly, mean group of people. The struggles of the family are equally as important as the boxing scenes, which are well done, believable, and engrossing. The anticipation the audience constantly feels is paid off with bursts of anger, despair, and joy at different points in the story.
On a less emotional level, Amy Adams is fucking incredibly gorgeous. Oh my God. What I wouldn't give.
In any case, this is a great movie to watch and you won't be sorry you took the time. Even if you don't like boxing. Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't remind everyone that Mark Wahlberg is famous because he used to pull down his pants on stage. That was his thing. He's a great talent, though.
4/5 possibly sock-stuffed briefs