Monday, February 14, 2011

15/50: The Wrestler

So, this film was called the return or resurrection of Mickey Rourke. I decided to look up Mickey Rourke's previous films to see what he was returning to - because I had always heard the name, but never could place him in a movie. The lone movie (besides 91/2 Weeks which I have not seen yet) that I have seen Mickey Rourke in before the explosion of films he has been doing - Double Team (you know, with Dennis Rodman.....crazy).

Anyway, that really had no significance on my reaction to The Wrestler only that I wanted to see where he was coming from in his past.

Rourke stars as Randy, a professional wrestler, and probably one of the best known for his time. As the years wear on, Randy continues his wrestling gig - albeit in much smaller venues, but he continues to be the draw for the crowd.

It becomes apparent that Randy has nothing else going for him in his life except wrestling. After an injury knocks him out for awhile - and doctors tell him he should never wrestle again or it could kill him - Randy begins to reach out to the two people in his life that he cares about.

First, a stripper named Cassidy (Marisa Tomei) who has shown him kindness over the years and he has gotten to know - at least he thought he had. After she helps him out on a few things and he buys her a drink he shows her that he is falling for her - something that she is unable to reciprocate.

Second, his estranged daughter, Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood). She is a student that has written Randy out of her life because he has never been there for her in the past. He does his best to repair the damage that he has caused - and for awhile it appears to be working.

There is just one thing that is still missing in his life - his love for wrestling. And with a rematch 20 years in the making with The Ayatollah looming, Randy must make the decision to return to what he loves the most, but risk his life - or hope that the relationships he has created are enough.

This was a pretty good movie, but I don't feel it was as good as I was expecting thanks to all of the hype from the Oscars a year ago. I am sure if I was a wrestling fan that I would have felt a little bit more for the film, but I am not.

I do believe that all three of the main characters did amazing jobs in their roles. Tomei was great and Wood was a definite surprise (I don't remember seeing her in too many things that I have come across).

As for Rourke, well this is definitely the return he needed as he has exploded onto the scene as of late. I just can't remember for the life of me where he is returning from. Guess I missed something.



  1. So my question (as it hinges to the podcast episode I posted today), is what would your opinion have been if you'd come into this film cold? No Oscar buzz, no hype...just someone handing you the dvd and saying "Watch this: It's good"?

  2. For this film, I would say about the same. I was expecting more - but I was also not knocked over by any of the material.

    It was good for a watch and I wasn't mad that I was watching it. It did keep me interested, but not so much that I was in love with it.

    Basically, just a decent movie that was good for one watch - maybe two.

  3. Big disagreement here. I see the overall score is decent, but this movie is so much more to me than "pretty good."

    Many films I love for their scripts, many others for their clever narratives. This I love for not only the performances, but the killer direction. I'm no big wrestling fan, but shit if I didn't feel as if I was wrestling against Rourke for the scenes inside the ring. They were phenomenal. And my wife hates wrestling and loved this, too.