Today, I went to see The Wrestler. I can honestly say that this was probably one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. It is gritty, moving, humorous, and just plain good.
Back when Mickey Rourke was “it” as far as leading men go, I loved his movies. I always found him convincing in the portrayal of his characters, and in his newest role as Randy “The Ram,” he doesn’t disappoint.
Randy is a wrestler whose best days are behind him. He is always behind on the rent of his beat up trailer. He gets by day to day by working at Acme (local market for PA/Jersey area) and wrestling on the weekends. Instead of wrestling in places like the Philadelphia Spectrum like he used to, he now wrestles in American Legion halls with the aid of pain killers and steroids.
Rourke doesn’t play him as pathetic, instead I saw a person who, despite his circumstances, found some kind of happiness and wasn’t bitter. He knows he has it rough, he’s banged up, lonely, and his only child wants nothing to do with him (because of his inability to be a father). He tries to roll with the punches thrown at him. His health is in decline and the little piece of life that he has seems to be unraveling, and that is what leads him to make a decision that could literally prove fatal.
It is a great movie (did I mention that already–heh). The soundtrack cracked me up, because it was everything I listened to in the ’80s (Even THIS SONG! HA!). In fact, there is a scene at a bar in the movie where Mickey Rourke’s character, Randy, is talking to Marisa Tomei’s character, Cassidy/Pam, about the music of the ’80s, “That p*ssy Cobain” wrecking everything, and that the ’90s sucked. (I had a similar conversation with some guy I had lunch with about a year and a half ago…in TN. Funny, huh?) The clip I’ve provided plays part of that scene, btw.
If you can handle some old-school wrestling blood and smash-mouth, Marisa Tomei nekkid (she plays an aging stripper with her own inner-conflicts), a very brief sex scene, laughing, crying—yes, I cried, seeing Rourke wake up in firemen’s boots after a one night stand, and giggling at Tomei’s character stating that Trenton’s schools are good (That just gave me a giggling fit), you will enjoy this movie.
I give this movie five body slams out of five.