Powell reviews "The Wrestler" - Did the movie live up to the hype?


prowrestling.net
MEMBERSHIP INFO | LOG-IN | CONTACT US | SUBMIT NEWS | ABOUT US
Insider News • Live TV & PPV Coverage • Hitlists • Results • Blogs

HOME | WWE NEWS | TNA NEWS | MMA NEWS | ALL NEWS | TV & PPV | ARENA REPORTS | VIEWPOINTS | PRODUCT REVIEWS | AWARDS



Dot Net App
GOT AN IPHONE, IPAD, IPOD TOUCH, SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB, OR ANDROID PHONE?

THEN BE SURE TO DOWNLOAD OUR NEW FREE APP
(or SEARCH "pro wrestling" in App Store or Android Marketplace)

Dot Net Podcast
CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO DOT NET FREE PODCAST IN ITUNES OR CLICK HERE FOR LISTING OF LATEST SHOWS

More Reviews


Powell reviews "The Wrestler" - Did the movie live up to the hype?
Jan 13, 2009 - 12:31 PM


There have been many movies that have received so much praise from critics and moviegoers that they couldn't possibly live up to the hype by the time I finally got around to seeing them. The Wrestler is not one of those movies.

I managed to avoid the spoilers, but it was impossible to avoid the critical acclaim regarding the film and Mickey Rourke's performance before the movie finally opened in the Twin Cities over the weekend. I went in with my guard up, yet left overwhelmed by the performances and the movie as a whole.

The camera shots over the shoulder of the Randy "The Ram" Robinson character provided a documentary feel and a made it seem like we were getting a glimpse of life inside the independent circuit. I couldn't help but to watch closely for inaccuracies and there were a couple minor details here and there, but Aronofsky nailed it.

Sure, there could have been more bickering amongst the wrestlers in the locker room or petty complaints over match finishes that have occurred in most indy locker room I've ever been in, but Aronofsky kept the focus on his main character while capturing the nuances of the indy wrestling world. A little thing like Robinson asking Ron Killings if he's buying the drinks that will ring true for anyone who has ever stepped foot in an indy locker room.

Aronofsky didn't take the predictable over the top route by showcasing an evil wrestling promoter. In one of the first scenes, he shows an indy promoter skimping on Robinson's pay, but he avoided making that a theme in the movie. The great thing about the fil is that nothing about it felt over the top despite the over the top world it was set in.

Although it is not an uplifting film, The Wrestler is not a hatchet job on the world of pro wrestling. Robinson's biggest opponent The Ayatollah (played by Ernest Miller) is showcased as a wrestler who reached the same level of success at one time, yet he left the business behind and moved onto a successful career as a car salesman. Sure, it subtly pointed out that the character was still a showman, but the message wasn't that every former wrestler is a washed up loser.

Rourke's performance was amazing. I can't imagine how different this movie might have been they actually cast Nicolas Cage in this role. Rourke "pumped up" (as he told David Letterman) for the role and looked the part, but more important were the small details like his struggles to walk staircases and the way he seemed perpetually tired and beaten down by life.

The deli scene continues to come up in conversations I've had with people in the wrestling industry. Robinson's desire to be called by his wrestling name and his need to perform even while working a mundane job resonated with these performers as much as anything in the film.

Although Rourke's performance is getting all the headlines, Marisa Tomei's portrayal of Cassidy (a/k/a Pam) the stripper coveted by Robinson was sensational. Likewise, Evan Rachel Wood's role as Robinson's neglected daughter was touching and emotional.

The Wrestler is the first truly great movie about professional wrestling. Unlike so many past wrestling movies, this film explored life in the business and wasn't just another rushed attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the genre. It's a simple, yet brilliant film with some of the best acting performances of 2009.

The only thing that concerns me about the movie is that I know there will be some knucklehead indy wrestlers who think the movie "understands them" and is somehow endorsing their poor lifestyle decisions. This is not a feel-good movie, and anyone who is inspired by the Ram character should seek mental health treatment immediately.

Using a five-star scale, I give the movie four stars.

RECOMMEND THIS ARTICLE:


READ OUR INSIDER NEWS BEFORE ANYONE ELSE! BECOME A MEMBER FOR JUST $7.50 A MONTH (or less with a year-long sub) - GET THE FIRST LOOK AT EXCLUSIVE INSIDER DOT NET NEWS, TONS OF EXCLUSIVE AUDIO CONTENT, MEMBER MESSAGE BOARD ACCESS, START YOUR OWN BLOG, AND VIEW THE SITE WITHOUT ANY ADVERTISING: SIGN ME UP (or MORE INFO)



RELATED ARTICLES FROM MGID AFFILIATE SITES...
More Reviews • Latest Five Articles
WWE Raw Retro Coverage – March 22, 1993: The Bushwhackers lick the crowd, Kamala vs. Doink, WWF Tag Champions Ted DiBiase and IRS in action, Rob Bartlett in Love & Hype for WrestleMania 9 continues
WWE Network: Lynch's WWE Countdown review - Best Finishing Moves
WWE Network: Lynch reviews WWE Countdown - Top 10 Entrances
WWE Network: Thomas Lynch reviews WWE Countdown - The Coolest Catchphrases edition
WWE Raw Retro Coverage – March 8, 1993: Hulk Hogan sings...badly, Mr. Perfect vs. "The Model" Rick Martel, Money Inc., Papa Shango, Bob Backlund, and Mr Perfect in action as WrestleMania 9 hype kicks into overdrive
WWE Raw Retro Coverage - March 1, 1993: Bret Hart defends the WWF Championship against Fatu, Money Inc. respond to the Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake, Lex Luger faces a former ECW Champion, The Steiner Brothers in action



MEMBERSHIP INFO
Become a Dot Net Member right now for $7.50 a month or $66 a year ($5.50 a month avg.). Get exclusive audio, first-look insider news, Forum access, member blogs, more...

CLICK FOR SIGN-UP INFO


The Current Must-Read List
• Powell's WrestleMania 3 review: Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant for the WWF Championship, Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat for the Intercontinental Championship, Roddy Piper vs. Adrian Adonis
• Pruett's Blog Flashback: The Undertaker's Streak Series Part Three - The American Bad Ass Years & The Deadman's Return - WrestleMania XVII - WrestleMania XX
04/02 Prowrestling.net All Access Interview: Artist Rob Schamberger on his WrestleMania Axxess project, his background, and more
• Powell's WWE DVD Review: "Signature Sounds: The Music of WWE"
04/01 Prowrestling.net Live Podcast: WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross on the Dot Net Weekly audio show
• 4/1 Kester's WWE Main Event Live Coverage Review: Sheamus vs. The Miz and Nikki Bella vs. Tamina
• Powell's WWE Raw Hit List: Daniel Bryan attacks Triple H, Brock Lesnar finally gets the better of Undertaker, John Cena in a sheep mask, Kane vs. Roman Reigns, final hype for WrestleMania 30
• Pruett's Blog Flashback: Undertaker's Streak Series Part Two - Coincidence Preserves The Streak - WrestleMania XII - WrestleMania XV
• Powell's WrestleMania 2 review: Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy in a cage match for the WWF Championship, Roddy Piper vs. Mr. T in a boxing match
• WWE News: Chris Jericho says the time isn't right for his WWE return
ACCESS PREVIOUS MUST-READ ARTICLES

Vote In Our Latest Poll

WrestleMania 30 Poll: Who ends the night as Divas Champion?
AJ Lee
Naomi
Cameron
Brie Bella
Nikki Bella
Natalya
Eva Marie
Emma
Aksana
Alicia Fox
Summer Rae
Rosa Mendes
Layla
Tamina
  
VOTE IN OR SEE RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLLS

Dot Net Free Podcasts
04/02 Prowrestling.net All Access Interview: Artist Rob Schamberger on his WrestleMania Axxess project, his background, and more
04/01 Prowrestling.net Live Podcast: WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross on the Dot Net Weekly audio show
03/31 Prowrestling.net Live Podcast: Jason Powell and Chris Shore take your phone calls on WWE Network launch day
CLICK FOR FULL LISTING OF ALL PODCASTS

Latest from Our Affiliate Site

_pwtorch.com_
CLICK HERE FOR MORE PWTORCH HEADLINES

© 2008-2012 LAST ROW MEDIA LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED -- PRIVACY POLICY