Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mini movie review: The Wrestler (2008)

I'd been wanting to see The Wrestler for a long time now, continuing in my tradition of not seeing a year's Big Movies until long after all the hoopla has died down.  (This will also happen with The Hurt Locker, so look for my review of that sometime in 2011.)  I've seen all the pictures of Mickey Rourke, of course, and heard his terrible tale of excess and bad choices that transformed him from the razor-sharp 80's bad boy to the shambling hulk he is now, only to be redeemed and brought back into the public's adoring (?) eye with this movie.  I'd even heard that while the characters in The Wrestler are compelling, the story is pretty light on plot, just a glimpse into Randy the Ram's life during one period of time.

So I wasn't surprised at any of that when I finally sat down to watch.  What I was surprised by was:
  1. how friggin' hot Marisa Tomei is.  Mr. Mouse thought she looked "haggard," which she was supposed to - but she did her own topless scenes and damn.  Girl looks amazing.
  2. how friggin' bleak the whole movie is, from start to finish.  Sure, there's some genuine camaraderie among the wrestlers, and Marisa Tomei's stripper Pam/Cassidy has some real affection for Randy, and there are some nice moments of warmth and humor, but by and large, this flick is a total downer.  From the tawdry spectacle of these cut-rate, has-been or never-will-be professional wrestlers, to Randy's downtrodden life, to Pam/Cassidy's regular and repeated humiliation as an over the hill topless dancer, to the despair and bitterness of Randy's estranged and abandoned daughter (Evan Rachel Wood, who does a nice job), this movie just beats you down.
I'm glad I saw The Wrestler, and I hope poor Mickey Rourke gets some money and an extension on his life from his excellent work in it, but now I have to go reorganize my Blockbuster movie queue for something not quite so depressing.


  1. It was a depressing movie; the final scene doesn't really help that either. I loved the Wrestler. Looking at getting old after a life of living and playing hard. Marisa Tomei was smokin'! She's making a career of being the hot older chick and doing a damn fine job of it.

    I can't remember if you ever saw She's the Man? It's cheesy but surprisingly funny and upbeat; it'd make a good anti-Wrestler.

  2. I have not seen She's the Man - cheesy, funny and upbeat sounds like what the doctor ordered tho'.