Quickcard Review The Wrestler
Directed by: Darren Aronofsky Cast: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood Running Time: 1 hr 45 mins Rating: R
Plot: Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke) was a wrestling legend in the 80s, but now after 20 years, Randy is still holding on to the spotlight. He's stuck wrestling in school gyms and small venues, just scraping by in life. When he's hit with a heart problem, Randy looks around at his life and sees a stripper (Tomei) and an estranged daughter (Wood) and that's it.
Who’s It For? This is a character study, with Rourke in almost every shot. It isn't completely necessary but it sure does help if you watched wrestling in your lifetime or at least banged your head to some hair metal bands from the 80s.
Aronofsky is a truly inventive director and Pi, Reqiuem for a Dream and Fountain are nothing like The Wrestler ... perhaps the main reason for that is Rourke. He is completely and utterly The Ram. It's a part that fits so perfectly it seems only Rourke could do it. Normally that means there is magic. The bleached blond hair, the self-tanning and the hearing aid all create one of the most memorable characters of the year. Plus, there is a surprising amount of subtle humor.
Tomei topless ... seems to be her thing suddenly. She's two for two with dropping the top in Before the Devil Knows Your Dead and now this. And her connection with Randy works a little better than Wood's does. The father-daughter reuniting happens in two noteworthy scenes but they feel a little too quick and easy.
Between "Bang your Head," "Sweet Child O' Mind" and "Balls to the Wall" this soundtrack has the chance at reinvigorating the 80s, but so does the classic wrestling. There is a great brotherhood shown between these small town wrestlers and you can feel the pain in this fake wrestling. The scene every guy will be talking about is the match that includes a staple gun, glass windows, and barb wire.
Almost every scene starts with the back of Rourke's head, just like the shot when a boxer or wrestler walks from the halls to the ring. It's a comeback for Rourke, showing the down-and-out man, clinging to whatever glory he can find in this world.
Final Score: 8/10