– It subverted genre cliches deftly. Every drug movie needs a moment when the addict hits bottom and finally examines himself, I thought it was pretty clever that “The Fighter” had its drug addict character quite literally watch himself in an HBO documentary (the filming of which frames the first third of the movie).
– Marky Mark is in great shape and showing as much skin as in his you-know-you-masturbated-to-him Calvin Klein days. One could create a convincing argument that he looks even better with a little meat and age to him.
– Christian Bale created a wholly convincing, endearing, sad crack addict character.
– It made me want to see more boxing movies. People in the audience actually cheered during the final fight, and clapped at the end.
– It’s doing well, so it’s a sort of financial redemption for David O. Russell after “I Heart Huckabees,” meaning maybe he’ll get to make another movie soon, which would be great news. “Three Kings” might be one of the best war movies ever made, if you could call it a war movie.
– Great soundtrack. They used a Breeders song, ’nuff said.
– It’s spirited. Even when it threatens to depict the local color a little cartoonishly, it’s a welcome spin in a genre that could easily devolve into dour gravitas.
– There were at least two “Marky Mark’s butt in sweatpants” shots that could be construed as gratuitous.
For all these reasons and more, “The Fighter” is deserving of your time.