Magazine article U.S. Catholic

The Fighter

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

The Fighter

Article excerpt

THE FIGHTER

Directed by David O. Russell (Paramount, 2010)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Boxing films are invariably tales of lion-hearted toughs from the wrong side of the tracks overcoming insuperable odds. But great fight movies are more than Davidslays-Goliath epics. Alongside the slugfest in the ring, these films track other, more personal battles.

In the best boxing films the real obstacle to victory is not the other fighter waiting in the ring but a host of personal or familial demons standing between our hero and the title bout. In Rocky II and Cinderella Man Rocky Balboa and Jim Braddock must overcome their wives' fears about boxing before they can take on the champ. And in Million Dollar Baby, Maggie Fitzgerald needs to beat prejudice before she gets her title shot.

In David O. Russell's film about "Irish" Micky Ward's (Mark Wahlberg) struggle to capture the world light welterweight title, it is not the boxers waiting in the opposite corner who pose the greatest threat to his success. …

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