Monday, December 29, 2008

The Wrestler - Movie Review

Randy "The Ram" Robinson is a washed up wrestler who was a big hit 20 years ago. Now he's struggling to make ends meat and he ends up having a heart attack that sets him back from doing the one thing he knows best, Professional Wrestling. Mickey Rourke hasn't done much lately, but I have to say he is awesome in this movie. I think he plays the part just right, getting into the role and doing an amazing job. He almost looks like he might have already been pretty beat up from his own professional boxing career and whatever else he's been up to for the last 20 years.

I'll get a little more into the movie, but have to say that the soundtrack to the movie was an 80's hair band delight. Some Bang Your Head and Cinderella's Don't know What You Got fill the background along with other favorites like Round and Round from Ratt. Bruce Springsteen even has a new single that plays during the closing credits.

Evan Rachael Wood plays the estranged daughter who Randy wants to try to make amends to and Marisa Tomei gets naked once again for us as a stripper that Randy has a thing for. Not that it made the movie or anything, just had to point out that Marisa still has it going on these days.

Watching the start of this movie where they are all in a gym maybe 100 people watching them just beat on each other. It makes you remember back to the old wrestling, the true wrestling of The Crusher, Baron Von Raschke, Andre The Giant, Rick Flare, Adrian Adonis and even the original Hulk Hogan and all the greats of the time before the WWF rook over the world.

Rourke really does a great job of playing this guy who works in the grocery store during the week and on weekends wrestles because he it's his life. When he has a heart attack, he realizes that he needs to walk away from it all, but when things don't go right in life he turns to the one thing he knows best and it's all on the line for a 20 year reunion match between him and The Ayatollah.

The funny thing about Rourke is that he used to really get into the character mode. He's live the character like in Barfly. Now he really seems to be in character again and really hits it. Awesome job on this one. I don't know if this will be of the right nature to get him at least an Oscar nod, but from everything else I've seen this year, I do think he deserves it.

Well worth seeing for sure, when it comes out in wide release I would highly recommend seeing Rourke at his best and also Marisa Tomei, who really does a great job of playing a very guarded stripper, who likes Randy, but can't let it go past that. She too realizes that her days are numbered and wants something better. A very good performance for Tomei.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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