The Wrestler brought Mickey Rourke back into the ring. Boxing movies are a dime a dozen, but there really aren’t that many professional wrestling movies out there. Probably because most people think wrestling is fake anyway. The Wrestler feels realistic thanks to director Darren Aronofsky. It’s not disturbing like most of his films, but it is an emotional journey. The camera follows Rourke very closely in his big comeback as pro wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson. He’s got the long blonde hair of Hulk Hogan, but his glory days are long behind him.
Randy is old, broken down, and one heart attack away from dying. Forcing him to give up his wrestling career and move on with his life. Rourke is in impressive shape with a performance to match. He won so many awards, yet somehow didn’t win Best Actor. The Wrestler earns its R rating with very brutal and bloody wrestling matches. Randy’s main romantic pursuit is aging stripper Pam played by a very naked Marisa Tomei. Even at 44 years old, Tomei looks really good for her age.
She was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Most of the profanity comes from Randy’s strained relationship with his daughter Stephanie played by Evan Rachel Wood. Even when his life starts to get back on track, Randy manages to sabotage his job at the deli and his relationships with Pam and his daughter until wrestling is all he has left. It’s heartbreaking to see Randy risk his life by getting back in the ring, but everything is left on a suitably ambiguous note. The Wrestler puts up a good fight.