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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
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The Ram has no inner sense of value. His complete and utter lack of self-worth drives him to make absolutly terrible relational decisions. He feels completely alone and he knows the world only cares for him when he bleeds for them - otherwise he's invisible to them. The Ram has become cynical and no longer cares whether he lives or dies. His story intersects with that of Marisa Tomei whose character is an older stripper nearing the end of her days. She is similar to Randy except that she has an outer source of value - a nine year old son to live for and sacrifice for. Tomei does easily as good a job as Rourke in the film but Rourke's character pushes into excellence on a few occassions - especially when he is attempting to renew a relationship with his daughter played by Evan Rachel Wood.
The film is incredibly sad. It is the portrayal of a man whose life is empty and meaningless except when he's doing that which will ultimately kill him. There is an early scene when Tomei's character quotes Isaiah 53 "He was wounded for our transgressions, pierced for our iniquities..." She is reminded of the verse by Randy's experience as an aging wrestler...she calls him a sacrificial Ram jokingly playing on his wrestling name.Read more ›
Few films have dealt with the life lived by the mediocre or unwise star who did not provide for his old age. "Requiem for a Heavyweight", with an outstanding cast, is a black and white version of this sad tale.
"The Wrestler", takes gritty look at the decline of a man whose career was fueled by steroids, alcohol and painkillers. The pain and abuse damage his heart. Recovering, he reaches out to an estranged daughter and a stripper who is having her own age related problems. His efforts start to bear fruit when the old, high living behavior reinforces bad, old memories. He is still loved and respected by his fellow wrestlers. So, like a gladiator in Roman times, his return to the arena becomes his destiny.
The story line is pretty straight forward without much complexity in it don't expect a whole bunch of twists and turns or huge elaborate WWE matches/storylines but do expect some amazing acting by almost all the characters/actors in this film. Mickey Rourke becomes so emotionally involved in his character that it left me in tears. It's clear from his performance that the movie is not just about wrestling
*Spoiler* its about a man reaching the end of his time and trying to hold onto everything he once had, fearful of being alone, and in a struggle to make up for lost time between himself and his daughter.
If your debating on whether or not to get this film I say definitely pick it up, even if you're not a fan of wrestling. This is definitely not a flick for kids but it for the adults it has some amazing relatable events and it will definitely touch that emotional side of you.
The Steelbook for this movie looks amazing and has some beautiful artwork, inside it comes with 2 disc the blu-ray and dvd that are stacked ontop of each other (they do not interfere with each other too much) definitely worth adding to your collection if you collect steelbooks or you just want to have this movie in a special format !
Most recent customer reviews
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 Inkhorn
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