Here it is the movie that has become the shining moment for Rourke – The Wrestler.
The film is about Robin Ramzinski or as his popularly known as - Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke), a professional wrestler from the ‘80’s who has seen his golden days come and go.
As a professional wrestler who is passed his prime, he’s stuck in the independent wrestling world in New Jersey and wrestles for extra cash on the weekends.
After one of these shows he’s approached by the event promoter who proposes a 20th anniversary match with his old opponent, the Ayatollah (Ernest Miller), a match that 20 years prior sold out Madison Square Garden. Randy of course agrees and sees this as an opportunity to retake his once famous image and also put him right back on the top of the wrestling world.
We continue to follow Randy and see him locked out of his trailer, for failure to pay rent, we see him working his day job at a super market (loading boxes) and then we follow him to a strip club, where we meet Cassidy (Marisa Tomei). Cassidy becomes like a love interest for Randy and a person he can talk to.
We continue to follow Randy (and I mean we follow him, there is a lot of camera work where we are directly behind him, looking at the back of his head). We see him exercising and using steroids, which keeps up his appearance as a built wrestler and then we are brought to the match that changes Randy’s life.
During this match he faces off against Necro Butcher (Dylan Summers), a man who uses a staple gun and a host of other tool/weapons to fight Randy in the ring. This scene is brutal, if you are not a fan of blood and destruction it will most likely make your stomach turn.
After the match we see the paramedics removing staples out of randy and also treating his gashes that are gushing blood and after they fix him up, we see Randy stand up, throw up and collapse on the ground, due to a heart attack.
Randy wakes up in the hospital and we learn that they had to do a bypass operation and Randy is told that his heart can’t take all the pressure he places on it when he’s wrestling and using steroids.
This makes Randy look at his life and Cassidy tells him to contact his daughter and tell her that he had a heart attack. We see Randy do this and we see him meeting up with estranged daughter, Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood). The first visit doesn’t go well, but the second visit they reconnect.
At this point Randy sees the important things in life and the movie then shifts and I won’t say what happens, I don’t want to ruin the powerful ending.
The movie is great, the direction and writing are powerful, but its Rourke performance that hits this one out of the park. All his lines and everything he does it so true to life that your right away sucked in and relating to this character, because he’s a real person, you so badly just want to see him succeed.
Darren Aronofsky (the director) truly understands his story, characters and actors and it shows. Not for a moment do you feel that the director lost his direction and the movie flows perfectly. After watching the film, I’m really interested to see what Aronofsky will do with the remake of RoboCop.
I would also like to mention Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood, who are also very strong in this movie, they are overshadowed by Rourke, but they deserve some notice because they play very strong rolls and they both flex a lot of acting muscles.
Yet, in the end it’s all about Rourke and we finally get to see him make a huge comeback and I’m glad he did, because it’s a real treat to watch a good actor take such a great role and make it infamous.