There's absolutely nothing wrong with Fighter, yet it leaves little resonance and feels lightweight even as we watch it unfold. Channing Tatum is a credible young man tormented by a feud with his father, Terrence Howard is terrific as the man with an eye on the main chance, Zulay Valez is lovely and multi-dimensional as the young woman who inspires Shawn, Luis Guzman is grittily real as Martinez, a competitor of Harvey's in the street hustling business and the extensive support cast are all marvellous.
The story is well told, and it's layered, but without enough hooks into the characters to do more than keep our attention for the duration. The fight scenes are superbly staged, and mostly well shot, providing a genuine onlooker experience. This may help sell the film to the market that has a taste for fighting action.
Dito Montiel's previous film was the semi-autobiographical A Guide to Recognising Your Saints, about the hero figures of his youth.