The Wrestler (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: B+
Oscar Watch! Eh, who are we kidding; Mickey Rourke has this one in the bag. Everyone is calling this his big comeback to acting, but I thought he had that when he starred in "Sin City" a few years ago. Of course instead of shooting comic book bad guys, this time he's a professional wrestler who's down on his luck. The whole story personifies Rourke's own career which is why director, Darren Aronofsky, said he would only do this movie with him. Aronofsky is the director of "Requiem for a Dream," which is one of my favorite movies. His approach to "The Wrestler" was totally different though. He used handheld camerawork through the whole movie and made it feel almost like a documentary. If you get motion sickness, you might want to sit this one out. You may also want to sit this one out if you have a weak stomach, considering one scene is gut-wrenching as we see a brutal wrestling match that involves barbed wire, staple guns and razor wire. The one thing that I loved about this movie was that it's the first movie in a long time that really was about an anti-hero. At no point during this movie do I like Rourke's character of Randy "The Ram" Robinson. I feel bad for him, but he's his own worst enemy. The only people in his empty life are his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) and a stripper (Marisa Tomei), who is just as lost as him. Those two crank out performances that are just as noteworthy as Rourke's. In the end, the movie stands up as a really impressive character-driven story. However, the film is like "The Ram," it might be its own worst enemy in the respect that the world of Pro Wrestling might be too much for some moviegoers to take, and the main character is so unlikable that you're not hoping he succeeds.