Thursday, June 04, 2009

Flick Check: The Wrestler

Flick Check: The Wrestler: Plot-wise it's formulaic; an end-of-career athlete has one last shot at the limelight and personal redemption. Yet there are subtleties that make it slightly different. The athlete doesn't find personal redemption, or least not in the sense of correcting with long-standing emotional issues. He simply accepts that he never will and, it seems, finds a bit of peace in that. The script is sharp and polished and professional and moves well within the confines of the formula.

Much has been made of Mickey Rourke's comeback and it's well deserved. Rourke has always been a fine actor if a less than well developed individual, so it's easy to see how he identified with the character. I gather he went through some physical stresses (including bulking up on steroids) for the role. It's just the sort of thing Rourke would do and it shows.

The movie also benefits from having Marisa Tomei is running around topless in about half the scenes. Even in a bad movie that would make for don't-miss status. But it's a good movie. The Wrestler is worth a viewing, but wait until it comes out in standard release. It's not worth pay-per-view.