IHAO on ... The Wrestler - Reader Request

As we continue down the Road to Wrestlemania, I want to talk about a Wrestlemania match that could have been, and a movie that was, and how great that movie is.  The year was 2008, and Chris Jericho and Mickey Rourke were going to have a match because of this movie.  Rourke ended up having to pull out ... so Jericho beat the crap out of three legitimate legends in one night instead.  Rourke gets the final laugh by knocking Jericho on his ass, though.  All of this, over multiple shows and months, was to build up this ... Oscar-nominated excellent film.

This is a character piece about a fictional wrestler, a man who is some kind of amalgamation of Jake the Snake, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Ric Flair, Scott Hall, Bret Hart, and a lot of other wrestlers who had a hayday where they were BIG ... but time has caught up with them.  This amalgam is Randy "the Ram" Robinson, a man who sold out Madison Square Garden, who was a legitimate legend, star of video games and has his own collections on VHS and action figures.  And a wrestler who is self-destructing.

This film succeeds in every way.  Every character is pitch perfect.  Every line is so believable and real.  Every shot is amazingly well thought out.  We spend the majority of the film as a ghost, just behind and over the Ram's shoulder.  We watch these last few months, as he wrestles, buys drugs, tries to fix a relationship, tries to start a new one, as he tries to get a new job, and as he makes his big rematch return.  I ... I really don't want to say any more about the film, really.  You need to see it!

No reason for the gif.  I just really really like this movie.  :)

This film is emotional, crazy emotional.  It is just a wonderful wonderful film.  Every time I watch it, I love it more.  And it is the perfect crossover between just silly wrestling reviews, anger-making editorials, and silly wrestling tie-in films.  The Wrestler was only Oscar-nominated for acting by Rourke and Tomei, both deserving mind you.  But they didn't win.  And Rourke SHOULD have.  He was just absolutely pitch perfect.  Darren Aronofsky continues to be the best un-rewarded director in film currently.  Watch this movie.  It is just absolutely great.

Grade: A++

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