Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama and Sports
Running Time: 1 hr. 45 min.
Release Date: December 17th, 2008 (limited)
MPAA Rating: R for violence, sexuality/nudity, language, some drug use.
Distributors: Fox Searchlight Pictures\
Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
JJ Rating: B
Randy “The Ram” Robinson’s (Mickey Rourke) job is being a wrestler. He is not nearly as rich with it as he once was, and what he sacrificed for the job was far more than he should have. He understands that and tries to rectify his past mistakes. All the while he cannot let go of the wrestler dream he still holds on to, even after he has health issues that bring him close to death. The Wrestler.
“I’m just a broken down piece of meat” is said in the trailer because in the film it is used and when I saw it in the trailer, and in the film where it is used dramatically, I thought it was cheesy. It’s not the best dramatic line one could come up with via a script, nor spontaneously in their emotionally rifled mind. Mickey Rourke acts great in this film and therefore one will ignore how cheesy it is because he said it. Had someone else said it, the cheese alarm would have gone off in far more heads than just mine.
I have a hard time dealing with characters in movies that have pent up anger. I just don’t get being that hateful and angry. Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood) is Randy’s daughter and she is just royally pissed off at him through 95% of her screen time and it’s never said as to why she is mad. Yes she mentions why she could be mad, but no she does not mention why she should still be mad years later. It makes no sense. For the film it makes sense, but for me and reality of anger and hate it makes zero sense. To be that angry is to be angrier at yourself than the person that you’re blaming.
Marisa Tomei plays Cassidy (also known as Pam) the stripper that Randy really likes and is overprotective with. They have great onscreen chemistry. The bar scene that they show in the trailer where they talk about how the 90’s suck was a great scene. Then there are other scenes where they are in the strip club that are also good with the witty banter back and forth and the slightly subtle love tease going on. I can almost see why she was nominated for an Oscar. I can really see why he’s nominated for an Oscar.
Wrestling is a joke, to me. I don’t see the interest, but I’m not going to knock it in a hateful way because some people really like it and enjoy actually being wrestlers and that’s their choice. What I liked about The Wrestler is that it showed the comradery that wrestlers have and the odd gracefulness that they all show on how their ‘act’ is going to go. If the film is good to see for one reason it would be to see that going on and understand a bit more of what goes on in wrestling. That is, of course, if what they share in this film is based on true events and not made up for pure enjoyment purposes and not, as I would like it, informative purposes.
The Wrestler has it’s moments that are amusing like the scene where Randy forgets to knock before entering, Randy playing Nintendo with a kid and the kid is telling him all about this cool new game that’s not retro, the wrestling matches and all the Randy and Cassidy scenes. Then it has to have an ending like it does. For me the ending was very anticlimactic. Especially since the trailer decides to just spill EVERYTHING and tell the entire story from beginning to end. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate when trailers do that. It not only takes away from the enjoyment of the film it makes the surprises no longer surprises. Trailer makers, now days, just plain SUCK.
Back to the ending, it was just bleh. It ends on a ‘you decide’ note. I don’t want to decide. I don’t want to pay to see a movie so that I have to decide how it ends. I don’t like that and that’s why it is not higher than a B. I took away a lot because the ending is the aftertaste that either sweetens the entire viewing or leaves a bitter unsavory taste on your moviegoer taste buds. The Wrestler left me with going what the hell? The movie starts off on a middle note of ok and then just plunges an ice pick in your heart and then makes you bleed out with Randy and they expect this to be enjoyable for 2 hours? No. I think about The Wrestler and it makes me think about a high school quarterback who is 30 and won’t go away because he loves the game so much and the school won’t let him go because he brings in the fans. Sometimes it is time to move on and actually live a life than just live a section of it over and over again.