Back in the late '80s, Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke) was a headlining professional wrestler. Now, twenty years later, he ekes out a living performing for handfuls of diehard wrestling fans in high school gyms and community centers around New Jersey. Estranged from his daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) and unable to sustain any real relationships, Randy lives for the thrill of the show and the adoration of his fans. However, a heart attack forces him into retirement. As his sense of identity starts to slip away, he begins to evaluate the state of his life - trying to reconnect with his daughter, and striking up a romance with an aging stripper (Marisa Tomei). Yet all this cannot compare to the allure of the ring and passion for his art, which threatens to pull Randy "The Ram" back in.
Now that's entertainment
- The Wrestler review by Jawbreaker
(5) of (8) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 4
The Wrestler is by today’s standards a low budget American film that normally wouldn’t see the light of day at your local multiplex. Yet thanks to the towering performance by Mickey Rourke, even the major chains cannot resist showing what is a memorable film.
Rourke plays a wrestler, fallen on hard times and struggling to get by with a supermarket job and a weekly event, where fans still turn up to see him perform. The film is refreshing in that it captures a side of America we don’t often see. Widespread poverty, basic healthcare and living on the breadline are all here, combined with the craft of wrestling.
His career may be on its last legs, but physically the years of wrestling have taken their toll. Unfortunately his personal life is also a mess and it seems beyond salvation. The two main females (Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood) also perform admirably in the gritty environment.
You shouldn’t deny yourself this film simply due to the fear of men in spandex. The camaraderie between the wrestlers and how they organise (and endure) bouts hammers home what a tough spectacle it can be.
Randy the ram is a wrestler who should have retired about a decade ago. Wrestling in local halls and small time venues, the once famous Randy still ploughs on as its his life, his calling, his love. Rourke is brilliant as the wrestler who doesn't know when to pull the plug.
Marisa Tomei is also outstanding as the pole dancer Randy has the hots for, will she won't she, some outstanding close ups of her expressions stick with me.
His attempts to reconcile with his estranged daughter are moving and tragic. Top notch indie film.
Strength vulnerability and immorality
- The Wrestler review by JD
(0) of (2) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 3
This has the machismo of Rocky with moments of contrasting tenderness. This superficial character spends all day body-building and all night hiring prostitutes and snorting cocaine. He is a bad boy hero and not one that draws you to him. The vulnerable scenes were not well acted or directed but made good sense to the plot. The film is a cult classic but didn't really grip me.