Blu-ray review: The Wrestler

Mickey Rourke as Randy
Mickey Rourke as Randy "The Ram" Robinson in The Wrestler
Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler
Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler

The Wrestler (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, $39.99). Watching Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler” it almost seems as though one is watching a very intimate documentary detailing many of the less then glamorous realities of life on the mat.

Mickey Rourke stars in what may mimic his own autobiography as he presents a fading star that has one last comeback in him.

In this case, he’s the washed up professional wrestler, Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a guy beyond his prime and unable to survive in the real world.

He has neither the education, the work history or the physical health required to function beyond his spandex and sequins career.

A messed up relationship with his daughter, crap job and light wallet; he is faced with the choice living in mediocrity or going back into the ring.

Literally the choice between a life settled in a sea of ordinary or a glorious death.

For as much as this movie can tug at the heartstrings I hate stories that so pile the woe on the protagonist into such a tight corner that the chance for a happy ending is smothered away.

The idea worked well in Leaving Las Vegas but not so much here.

Marisa Tomei co-stars as the stripper Cassidy, a tough woman who takes a liking to Robin and offers the film the only glimmer of hope. Unfortunatley although she offers all of her body for the performance, I never heard enough from her to care.

Mickey Rourke as Randy "The Ram" Robinson in The Wrestler
Mickey Rourke as Randy "The Ram" Robinson in The Wrestler

The goods: Mr. Rourke shines in this emotionally crushing role.

The bads: The scene between Cassidy and Ram in the bar leaves one wishing for more from actress Tomei. What she brings to the screen is golden, but it was just not enough.

The mandatory extras: A roughly 30 minute round table discussion with some retired professional wrestlers such as Lex Luger, Brutus Beefcake, Rowdy Roddy Piper and Diamond Dallas Page sheds enormous light on Rourke’s motivations and character.

So much in fact that I went back and watched the movie again to appreciate depths I had obviously missed the first time.

Also, a mediocre 45-minute production documentary rounds out the extras. And …That’s all folks.

Me thinks, me smells a super special, limited edition, director’s cut Blu-ray release in the future?

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