The Fighter isn't a bad film. I just thought that it felt like your slightly better than average made for cable movie that didn't quite ring true all the time and with characters you didn't care much about at all. The story was typical, predictable, slow and had been done so many times before and with films that had so much more to say. Raging Bull and Rocky are two that come instantly to mind. To think this could even be nominated for a Best Picture award is incredibly surprising.
The boxing scenes (and the "strategy") were few and so horribly poor that I was surprised that no boxing consultant stepped in to change them. It was actually funny to watch the fighters wail on each other like little kids in the 8th round and see Wahlberg without any visible facial swelling after taking a beating to the face that could have put down Mr. T. Bale's character was easily the most fun to play and he does an excellent job. But I thought Wahlberg's character was practically comatose and you learned nothing about him the entire film. He exhibited no signs whatsoever that there was a fighter with the heart of a lion and a champion - heck, I could barely remember his name although I did remember Dicky, Bale's character. The "televised" parts of the fight were so awkward and out of place and half done - just like parts of the movie. And at the end, I wasn't sure what this film was supposed to be. I sure didn't get the sense that Micky Ward went from nobody to a well oiled machine at any point. And when it ended... well... the entire last quarter of the film felt very passive
In an age of horribly bad Hollywood films this looks like a gem and the IMDB Top 250 movie list has become worthless. I'm hoping to see the Black Swan and the King's Speech, both of which I heard are excellent. I did see True Grit, which was a much better movie than this one although not nearly my favorite Coen Brothers flick...