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The Wrestler

Darren Aronofsky's 2008 dramatic film about a down and out professional wrestler.

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  • Mar 7, 2009
  • by
For those of you who have seen the classic wrestling documentary "Beyond The Mat" in which it feature Jake "The Snake" Roberts heavily, you will recognise the parallels between "The Wrestlers" main character and Jake. Mickey Rourke can also be compared to the character in regards to his personal life as he tends to get himself into trouble a lot of times with the law and in his relationships.

The Plot: Randy "The Ram" Robinson is an aged professional wrestler and personal trainwreck with his finger constantly on the self destruct button. He was once the biggest name in wrestling with his biggest match taking place in Madison Square Garden against the Ayatollah 20 years prior to this movies setting. You would think that considering his possible legend status that he would be one of the richest men in the business, in fact he seems to be one of the poorest and the most run down.

Living in a trailer park and having stripper being the only person he considers a friend he's pretty much the lowest he can be. Taking part in independent shows to make a quick dollar so he can pay for his drug habit and keep his trailer, he's pushing his body to the absolute limit. One night after taking part in a CZW (Combat Zone Wrestling) event, which is pretty much the hardest of hardcore wrestling he collapses and has a heart attack.

Waking up in a hospital and finding out he is just had a heart triple bypass he is told that he can no longer wrestle for the strain would destroy his heart and kill him. Being a man that lives for wrestling he finds this change hard to cope with especially being so lonely. He first tries to seek companionship with his stripper friend and tries to reconcile his relationship with his daughter.

The Actors: One thing I will say to praise this film above anything else is its authenticity. Being a fan of independent wrestling, I'm more aware of the backstage trials and tribulations of our more failed wrestlers. Being more aware of how the backstage antics work in the real world of wrestling, I expected this to play agaist this film due to me not expecting it to be truly accurate and quite corny in some respects.

I was sorely mistaken and the autenticity of this film is spot on especially with its portrayal of the backstage wrestling world. Mickey Rourke is one of those actors who has a name we all recognise but we're not really sure what he looks like or what movies he's been in. Well that was the case for me anyway, however, this is undoubtedly the film that will put a face to the name and have it stick forever.

The daughter role of Stephanie played by Evan Rachel Wood is another highlight of the film considering her small part played. The real Gem of it is Cassidy the stripper played by Marisa Tomei who is one that gains Randys friendship through simply doing her job. What started off as a professional friendship grows into much more as the film develops and randys life falls apart. Mickey is the shining light of this movie for 2009 and should get an oscar nomination for such a stellar performance. He seems to lay it all out there and in his wrestling scenes seems to take part without holding back an ounce.

Overall the film is superb, being a wrestling fan I especially enjoyed the wrestling scenes which were filmed at actual live WXW, CZW and Ring of Honor events. Mickeys acting seems to exceed all expectations and the film contained some genuinely heart wrenching moments, especially when he first tries to win back his daughter.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film and would highly recommend it to anyone who is not just a fan of wrestling, but a fan of movies. A fan of drama movies would suffice to be educated by such an immensely enjoyable picture. Be prepared to be a bit shocked and disturbed by some of the graphic depictions within. Either way, upon its nationwide American release or its world wide release, you must make sure you see this film.
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More The Wrestler (2008 film) reviews
review by . August 27, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I gotta find some of Randy's old matches on Collisum Video
One of thing things I learned after following pro wrestling a few years back is what happened to those names I used to hear about all the time like Jake Roberts and Lex Luger.  I never heard about them dying considering what big names they are, and then I learned a bitter truth.  Those big names and they're big lifestyles came crashing down.  Jake Roberts and Lex Luger were the inspirations for the character of Randy "The Ram" Robinson who is the focus of The Wrestler.   …
review by . February 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****      Well, this is rather surprising; Darren Aronofsky directing a sports flick. How about that? So how well does this little stunt pull off? Well, I'll tell you, and believe me; you're going to be surprising. As it turns out, Aronofsky's "The Wrestler" is no stunt at all, but that's not to say that it's the kind of film that you'd expect out of the guy either. Mr. Aronofsky's follow-up to his ambitious, flawed, but indefinitely artsy "The Fountain" proves to …
review by . July 04, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
      THE WRESTLER      There have been films made before about wrestling and by wrestling I mean pro wrestling, but none like this. This film is the portrait of a man who is coming to terms with his own mortality, literally and also for his craft. There have been many things said about this movie but there seems to be one constant, and that is Mickey Rourke's masterful performance. For those who have not seen this I can tell you right now that he was …
Quick Tip by . August 27, 2011
Washed up 80's wrestling superstar copes with his rockstar days long gone and living day to day in a very non glamorous life. Runs the rollercoaster of touching, hard, fun and sad.
review by . July 15, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Yin and Yang
WARNING: This review contains spoilers!      There are certain fundamental aspects of American culture in the 1980s that I found to be, for lack of a better word, repugnant. The crassness of commercialism was everywhere, politics went straight to hell as Reaganites celebrated American Right-wing supremacy, music fans suffered through the pangs of the glam rock movement and the superficiality and the hedonistic excesses that it embraced, and the yuppies on Wall Street were idealized …
Quick Tip by . July 14, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Mickey gives the kind of performance that we all knew he still had in him. Marisa Tomei was equally amazing.
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Powerful movie that depicts the side of wrestling and sports that we may not think about, getting older and dealing with trying to continue doing something you love.
review by . February 01, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
movie poster
Stories that delved into the inner human spirit and tales about redemption have been beloved by critics since anyone can remember. Small wonder, since films that exhibit pure humanity can undoubtedly touch the hearts of audiences--it is a premise that is both fascinating and quite easy to relate to. Inspired by the documentary "Beyond the Mat", director Darren Aronofsky's "The WRESTLER" is a film with a lot of things to say, and may well be Mickey Rourke's best performance; this role may indeed …
review by . December 28, 2009
This movie was a huge and pleasant surprise for me.  I thought it would be more about the wrestling sport/soapstory.  Instead we get a compelling tale of a man that was so into the wrestling game that he ignored the rest of his life.  Mickey Rourke plays a wrestler nicknamed The Ram, who can no longer persue wrestling so he soon realizes that his "real" life is total misery and he really has nothing outside of wrestling.        Ram tries to rekindle …
review by . December 08, 2009
A Gripping Look into the Lifestyle of Professional Wrestling, but a Little Over Hyped...
Growing up a wrestling fan and knowing the business inside and out, The Wrestler hit home in a lot of ways.  I wasn't just a wrestling fan, I used to idolize these guys and perhaps one day, be one of them.  As I got older and was able to differentiate what was real and what was fake, I felt I was able to connect even more with them and what they go through because of all the inner politics that go on in the industry.  The minute the film started, I was blown away at just how well …
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Steven Stewart ()
Ranked #95
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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About this movie


Robin Ramzinski, ring name Randy "The Ram" Robinson, (Mickey Rourke) is a professional wrestler who was a major star in the 1980s but is now years past his prime and wrestling on the weekends for various independent wrestling promotions in the Elizabeth, New Jersey area. After a show, a promoter proposes a 20th anniversary rematch with his most notable opponent, the Ayatollah (Ernest Miller), who now owns a used car dealership in Arizona. Their first match together sold out Madison Square Garden, and Randy agrees to the rematch, wishfully thinking this high-profile match could help him get back to the top.
  • Mickey Rourke as Randy "The Ram" Robinson/Robin Ramzinski
  • Marisa Tomei as Cassidy / Pam
  • Evan Rachel Wood as Stephanie Ramzinski
  • Todd Barry as Wayne
  • Ernest Miller as Bob / "The Ayatollah"

Also appearing in the film are actual professional wrestlers: Blue Meanie, Johnny Valiant, Ref Hanson, Tommy Rotten, Andrew Anderson, Brolly, Danny Inferno, Necro Butcher, Mike "RAGE" Miller, Paul E. Normus (who died in early 2009), Nick Berk, DJ Hyde, Havoc, Johnny Mangus, Billy Dream, Eric Cobian, Sabian, Nate Hatred, Sugga, L.A. Smooth, Whacks, Devon Moore, The Funky Samoans, Jay Lethal, Jim Powers, Kid USA (as Randy's stunt double), Ron Killings, Claudio Castagnoli, Romeo Roselli, John Zandig, Chuck Taylor and Nigel McGuinness.

The Wrestler is a 2008 drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky, written by Robert D. Siegel, and starring ...
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Director: Darren Aronofsky
Genre: Drama, Romance, Sport
Release Date: December 18, 2008
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Robert D. Siegel
DVD Release Date: April 21, 2009
Runtime: 109 minutes
Studio: Wild Bunch, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Protozoa Pictures
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