Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Wrestler

Genre - Drama
Year Released - 2008
Running Time - 105 minutes
Directed by Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, and the upcoming re-make of Robocop)
Written by Robert D. Siegel (who was a former writer for The Onion)
Cast Includes:
Mickey Rourke (Angel Heart, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, Sin City, Spun, etc)
Marisa Tomei (The Toxic AvengerMy Cousin Vinny, Four Rooms, What Women Want, etc)
Evan Rachel Wood (Thirteen, The Missing, The Life Before Her Eyes, Across the Universe, etc)

Rating: 4 Skulls

Plot Summary:
Retired professional wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson returns to the ring and tries to work his way up the circuit for a final shot at defeating his longtime rival. Along the way, he tries to reconnect with his daughter, Stephanie, while exploring a relationship with a stripper named Cassidy.

Both Mickey Rourke & Marisa Tomei were nominated for their acting in this film, and I can see why - both of them were great and I thought that their chemistry, together, really worked!
[with that said, especially now, having seen Rourke's performance, I do not see this being the same film, had it starred Nicolas Cage, as originally intended. My understanding is that Cage got the part, however Aronofsky was really hoping for Rourke and Cage gracefully bowed out - which is pretty cool, I must say. . .]

I do not watch professional wrestling [nor have I ever] yet I had no problem being enraptured with the story portrayed in this film. I am sure you have all heard of this film by now [what with the Oscar buzz around it and all] - Mickey Rourke portrays Randy "The Ram" Robinson, a wrestler past his prime [while at the same time, Marisa Tomei is realizing that she a stripper past her prime as well - though I would have no problem with her!] ;-) 

The kicker is Robinson's relationship with his daughter - while never really delving too deep [other than the fact that he left when she was younger] I felt bad for Robinson - really, this is a sad film, in more ways than one. However, I cannot deny its intensity - I was floored by the comradeship between the wrestlers and the abuse that they put themselves through! 

Not to mention that I was literally holding my breath during Robinson's last match, as I had no idea what the outcome was going to be - I literally had a sick feeling in my stomach [you'll understand when you see the film]

Definitely recommended!

Here's the trailer for the film:

Also, the film has a rockin' soundtrack!



Ryan Harvey said...

We must have identical Netflix queues or something, Jason, since I just got notified that this one is shipping to me today.

Wings said...

Haven't seen this one yet, but my brother saw it and loved it. And he has been a BIG wrestling fan since he was a kid. So, I guess it is a movie that can appeal to fans and non-fans alike.

Will be adding it to my Netflix queue, as well.

Rev. Fred Phantom said...

I'm getting this in the mail from Netflix--I can't wait to check it out--especially after reading your review.

thebonebreaker said...

Ryan, that is too funny! :-)
[you should send me a Netflix Friend Request]

Wings, I can definitely vouch for any non-wrestling fans out there, that this film will still appeal to them!

Rev, definitely let me know your thoughts!


Johnny 666 said...

I was kicking myself for missing this one in theatres at the release time. Am a big Aronofsky fan. But hey, DVD will do just nicely for me:-)

Anonymous said...

GRRRREEEEEAAAAAT movie. I saw this in theaters twice when it came out. I love it. Brilliant n' beautiful. In my opinion, Rourke got ROBBED at the Oscars. For me, its a 5 star movie. 5 out of 5. Heck, 6 out of 5. I loved it. I saw it with some people unfamiliar with pro wrestling and they loved it, too. But I must say, for those familiar with wrestling (especially those familiar with the story of Jake "The Snake" Roberts), it's even better. Incredibly moving. The scene where Randy goes to the meet n' greet to sign autographs and almost no one comes, and then he looks around at all the other wrestlers like him, battle-damaged lost souls falling apart at the seams, that scene got me more than a little misty BOTH times I saw it. I can't wait to get the D.V.D. , but I know the special features are pretty paltry, so I'm gonna hold it for a while until they release a special edition (which it sounds like they're definitely gonna do). A must-see and a must-own. In my opinion, Arronofsky's best picture.

thebonebreaker said...

Johnny, I hear you on the whole theatre thing - with 4 kids, etc - I pick and choose what I see in the theatre [generally horror, just to support the genre, or explosive action movies that need to be seen on a big screen]

William, I can see why you would give this one 5/5 - for me though, it's really a downer of a movie - nothing I will watch repeatedly. . .


Anonymous said...

Heh. That's the thing. I tend to have an addiction to downers. Lol. Seriously, I can't turn down a sad, depressing ending. Even now, when I write my own stories n' movie ideas, I have a hard time not writing a downbeat ending, even when such an ending isn't really appropriate.

By the way, I'm glad you liked my Pot Zombies review. Yeah, I did bash the holy hell out of that flick. But it had it coming. Really, it did. Though I wouldn't say that's the first time you've seen me knock a flick. My Candy Stripers review was kinda bashy. I mean, not as bad, I guess. But Candy Stripers wasn't as bad as Pot Zombies. They're both bad, but Pot Zombies is worse. Candy Stripers you could at least watch, and there was an effort made (an effort to provide good effects, an effort to provide at least a minimal story, an effort to provide at least passable acting, an effort to at least be sexy/scary/whatever... few of the efforts were successful, but that movie at least tried), while Pot Zombies showed little to no effort. And, frankly, it's an unwatchable mess. I can think of more perfect combination of words to adequately describe this movie than "unwatchable mess".

Expect another review up tomorrow. And then hopefully another one by Monday or Tuesday. School is starting to wind down now, so things are a little hectic with finals and end of the semester assignments due n' everything, but my time is beginning to open up a little better, so I plan to add more updates n' reviews.

By the way, notice the changes I been making to the layout? Still in its infant stages right now, but what do you think of the general direction? I'm trying to achieve something that looks less cluttered.

thebonebreaker said...


Yeah, I forgot about Candy Stripers ;-)

As for your blog - layout never bothers me - it's the content that I look forward to - whatever you think looks good Bro! :-)


Bobby said...

Great review. THE WRESTLER was one of my favorites of last year. Movies don't get much better than this.

thebonebreaker said...

Thanks Bobby! :-)