Is ‘The Fighter’ the Greatest Sports Movie of All Time?

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by Lochlan Phillips

Belated Film Reviewer, White Cover Magazine

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Seriously. It’s a real question. Two years has been kind to Mark Wahlberg’s passion project, The Fighter, which turned out not only to be the greatest sports movie of 2010-2011, but maybe the best movie from that year as well. Looking back, The Social Network and The King’s Speech kind of pale in comparison. They’re not as special. They’re not as real or visceral. They’re not as honest.

Now, two full years later, The Fighter stands on its own as perhaps the greatest all-around sports movie of all time. Recent behemoths like The Damned United and classics like Hoosiers or Bull Durham are charming and intelligent, but they’re not The Fighter.

After Wahlberg’s ‘epic’ hit theatres, anything set in Boston seems like a cheap stunt, and that’s saying a lot… after all, The Figher had to follow films like Good Will HuntingThe Departed, and The Town. Also, Boondock Saints, if you’re a first year university student.

Here’s an excerpt from an article about The Fighter at the time it came out, written by Kolby Solinsky for White Cover Magazine:

“The fact is, hardly any movies about Boston (okay, the three above are pretty darn good) really shoow the true nature of Southie or its harder-to-live-in-while-staying-alive outer areas, like Lowell, Mass. in The Fighter.

This movie – which is producer/actor Wahlberg’s career-defining film – finally, finally, FINALLY seems to hit the nail on the head.

We don’t want to live in Lowell, or even Boston for that matter. We don’t want to be Micky Ward. We don’t even want to be with Amy Adams.”

The Fighter looks even greater in retrospect now. Consider how stale and uninspired Hollywood has gotten. Look at how many reboots and Comic Book sh*t shows they’re tossing at us over-and-over, just hoping they can lure young eyes away from YouTube and back at older actors nobody below the age of 25 knows or cares about.

Here’s what we have to look forward to in 2013: The Great Gatsby, the sequel to The Hobbit, and Iron Man 3.

Great. Gatsby will win Best Picture simply by default. Fanboys and Fangirls will be forced to like and rave about The Hobbit, while everyone will need a shot of tequila and a Tylenol to get through another Robert Downey Jr. stand-up comedy.

Of course, Jennifer Lawrence is bound to return to her Winter’s Bone-type roles, and maybe that movie will win Best Picture. Maybe Kathryn Bigelow will run to the winner’s circle again just because her name is tattooed to the credits.

We’re all bored, and we just keep flocking to theatres because Netflix has lowered our tastes, our attention spans, and made us crave anything with Olivia Munn’s tits.

Movie are easy now. They’re easy to watch, and we accept them for being bad. We don’t think of them like we used.

My advice?

Watch The Fighter again. It will change your mind.