The mystery of Mickey Rourke's career comes to a grungy apotheosis in The Wrestler, the much-battered actor's triumphant return to the top rope. He plays Randy "The Ram" Robinson, a heavily scarred and medicated battler who's twenty years past his best moment in the ring. But he still schleps to every second-rate fight card he can get to, stringing out the paychecks (more likely a fistful of cash) and nursing what's left of his pride. His attempts to adjust to a more normal kind of life form the most absorbing sections in the movie, whether it's flirting with a stripper (Marisa Tomei is in good form, in every sense), establishing a bond with his understandably angry daughter (Evan Rachel Wood), or working behind the deli counter at a nondescript megastore. Rourke is commanding in the role; he obviously spent hours in the gym and the tanning salon, and his ease with the semi-documentary style adopted by director Darren Aronofsky allows him to naturalistically interact with the colorful real-life wrestlers who crowd the movie's ultra-believable locations. All of which helps distract from the film's overall adherence to ancient formula. You might find yourself waiting for the scene where the risk-taking Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream) pulls the switch and reveals his true motives for pursuing this otherwise sentimental story, but there's no switch. The Wrestler is an old-fashioned hoke machine, given grit by an actor who doesn't seem to be so much performing the role of ravaged survivor as embodying it. --Robert Horton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Hard to rate as we were sent a European copy and we could not play it on our Canadian electronics. Did not return re costs involved. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Iris Panasiuk
I can see parallels between this and Raging Bull, but it's kind of like a prequel to Black Swan. Mickey Rourke sets the stage on fire, and I love that Brice Springsteen song in it. Read morePublished on Jan. 5 2013 by Jesse
Randy 'The Ram' Robinson fought the Ayatollah in Madison Square Garden back in the 80s, and still battles today. Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2012 by Inkwell
Rourke is indeed very good as a aging wrestler disintegrating before
our eyes. And there are some beautifully shot sequences. Read more
After all the hype and award nominations, you'd think it would be an academy performance; Rourke still couldn't act his way outta' a paper bag!Published on Dec 31 2009 by Harold K. Errington