Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mark Wahlberg as "The Fighter"

By most accounts, the new movie starring Mark Wahlberg as "The Fighter" is supposed to be really good. He portrays Mickey Ward, a pretty tough dude in the boxing ring during the 90's, with Christian Bale in a supporting role as Mickey's drug challenged half-brother.
From what I've seen, truly elite actors not only know the script, but they let the role consume them. They become, in effect, as close as they can, the person who they're pretending to be. In the case of sports movies, that might involve a lot of research, weight gain or loss, talking a different way, mimicking personal mannerisms, and any number of other things to be convincing in the part.
Evidently, Wahlberg did all of that, including training like a maniac to the point of being "ripped" like a world class fighter preparing for a title bout. He was definitely in shape when the cameras rolled.
Some people would say such actors are egomaniacs, but I disagree. A certain amount of ego is necessary for them to be confident in their roles, otherwise they come across as phonies, and the film will be a dud.
But that only goes so far. After all, it's only a movie, and no, the actor isn't really "the guy". They need to know when to quit the charade and get back to reality. I'm not sure Wahlberg gets this. How else to explain his comment about having a "puncher's chance" at defeating Manny Pacquiao in the ring?
By that logic, I could fire up my trusty leaf blower and have a shot at knocking out a tornado, but I don't think that would be a very good plan. Robert DeNiro portrayed Jake LaMotta in a classic movie called "The Raging Bull", but he saw the wisdom in not getting in the ring with the likes of Marvin Hagler. That might explain why he's still making movies and a ton of money, rather than trying to remember what his name is and where he's at these days.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but before Wahlberg got into acting, he was a successful rap artist that went by the name Marky Mark. He talked smack.
If he ever got in the ring with the Filipino Congressman mentioned above, within a few seconds after the opening bell, everything would go Darky Dark. If and when he woke up, he might not be able to even spell s-m-a-c-k, given all the consonants as a head start.
Here's hoping that was just more hype for the flick, but if he really means it, I would refer him to a certain segment on an NFL pregame show.
They sum it up rather well in just two words.

1 comment: