....Another day, another film. This one, directed by David O. Russell, is based on the true story of U.S boxer Micky Irish Ward. The welterweight fighter is none too known, but retired as recently as 2003, having formerly been world champion.
The reason behind this biopic, I guess, lies largely in the circumstance through which Micky, (played by Mark Wahlberg), overcomes before reaching that goal. The film begins not with his childhood, but firmly in adulthood, with Micky already a renowned local boxer. More renowned, however, is his step brother Dicky Eklund, (played by Christian Bale), who, despite losing the fight, once knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard. However, things have changed - Dick is addicted to crack whilst still trying to convince himself he can make a come back, alongside training Micky up to do what he couldn't - be World Champion.
Bale is phenomenal - scrawny, deep sunken eyes, slurred speech. Creating a man you quickly dislike, yet somehow still believe in. Micky is the opposite. More shy by comparison, he wants to box well and stay out of trouble. With that, Wahlberg plays it well too - he's believable, likeable and whilst you want him to win, it just seems too far out of reach to be possible.
The film builds, with Micky eventually getting a title shot. And with Dick freshly out of jail, freshly off the crack, his brother takes him back in to his corner once more. It is a truly rewarding film - a feel good film that packs more punch emotionally than it does brutally. I really enjoyed it and so should you.
Micky Ward Vs Arturo Gatti, fight 1, round 9