The Fighter is a ham-fisted film where practically all the relationships play out as if in a boxing ring. Intense interactions take the place of charactarization. Toughness, resilience, and loyalty are celebrated on the surface while fear and addiction, desire and manipulation drive most of the interactions on the screen. The characters dance around each other, on the balls of their feet, guarding, jabbing, distracting, pushing, driving, dodging, falling, rarely coming to rest before climbing back into the ring to do it again. It is an all-or-nothing world that they live in. You work to win or you work to lose, but you work, and you go at it and you keep going at it until the film of your life is the triumphant one that you always knew it to be.