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His sense of identity fading into nothingness after the spotlights dim and he experiences a close brush with mortality, a retired wrestler begins to evaluate his life while considering the comeback that could very well kill him in director Darren Aronofsky's poignant portrait of an introspective former superstar in the twilight of his career. Back in his heyday, wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke) was an icon in the ring. His image immortalized in action figures and video games, he would headline arenas across ...

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Jul 30, 2009

Living and Dying by the Body

"The Wrestler" was a well-shot, cinema verite-style film, but the story was hackneyed, especially the wrestler's estrangement from his daughter.

The chief revelation is the viewer's amazement at Mickey Rourke's botched plastic surgery, and that he apparently spent every free moment of his fame hanging out in the gym.

An actor who has Sylvester Stallone's body and Joan Rivers' face is, relatively speaking, inexpressive. Rourke is reduced to his raspy whisper of a voice But of course the story is about those who live and perish by their aging bodies--not only Rourke's wrestler but Marisa Tomei's stripper. As a low-life redemptive genre flick "The Wrestler" was passable.

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