Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Wrestler: A Movie Long Overdue

Before you go see this movie, do yourself a favor and view this list of wrestlers that have died since 1985 (The year of the first WrestleMania) before the age of 65 (average retirement age). The list doesn't just include wrestlers, but also people who played vital roles in producing this sort of entertainment (referees and managers). The list is riddled with world famous stars, young men who died in tragic accidents, classic cases of depression leading to drug abuse and men who just didn't know when to quit, or at least refused to give up the spotlight. The Wrestler follows the latter.

Considering how popular pro wrestling used to be and the success of Mick Foley's book about his career in the sport, I would have thought that a movie like The Wrestler would of been made about ten years ago. Focused on the twilight of his career, the film follows the trials and tribulations of a once famous pro wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke) as he flips between retirement and further risking his health in an high impact sport. As a former avid pro wrestling fan the movie definitely found a home, but like the main character it has it's share of flaws.

Randy's path downward is like that of a washed up rock star, which in turn makes the movie predictable in some respects. You know he is going to stay on the path of self destruction, but you find yourself hoping otherwise to no avail. There's a formula at work, but it doesn't ruin the movie. The acting and pace keep your mind off the fact that there isn't much to the story you haven't heard or seen before.

Marissa Tomei's plays a stripper...I'll let that sink in, because it took me an hour after the movie to realize that I saw Marrisa Tomei shake what her mother gave her...let's just say her mother has good taste. As an aging stripper struggling to make money, her character parallels that of Randy's successfully, creating another arena he needs to find balance within.

Overall The Wrestler is a gripping film that forces the audience to share the roller coaster that is Randy's life. Though the film is mildly formulaic, it is also one of the few movies I would pay full price to see again. Also gives you something to think about next time you are channel surfing and come across today's wrestlers following the same path.

Also got to see GlenGary GlenRoss this weekend. Just got to say this may be one of the best scenes ever in any movie ever...ever! Definitely one to check out if you haven't yet.

1 comment:

sensiblekitty said...

This movie was great. I watched it after reading your review and I agree - her mama has good taste.