‘The Fighter’: Contender or More of the Same?

Among his innumerable other projects, Mark Wahlberg has a steady sideline starring in films about underdogs who make good. Boogie Nights, Rock Star, Invincible, and now The Fighter all follow similar trajectories wherein a poor, hard-luck case rockets to fame by dint of chance and/or guts. What distinguishes The Fighter is that it’s directed by David O. Russell, he of Three Kings, I ♥ Huckabees, and Flirting With Disaster fame. A boxing picture doesn’t seem his style at all, and yet it’s the incongruity of director and material that interests me most here. With the exception of Scorsese, Wahlberg’s done his best work with Russell, and if nothing else,The Fighter‘s trailer (after the jump) makes it look like a far cry from Rock Star.

The star of the piece is actually Bale, whose role clearly involves much chewing of scenery. I’d be curious to know if he and Russell ever got on each others nerves on set, as both share a well-documented penchant for histrionic screaming fits.

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