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Wrestler, The


Stars: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Todd Barry, Mark Margolis

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Twenty years after reaching the peak of his profession, Randy 'The Ram' Robinson (a showcase role for Rourke) is still part of the wrestling circuit (or should that be circus?), taking part in meticulously staged bouts with other old friends at the game.

There's a stripper (Tomei), with whom he starts a tentative relationship, and a daughter (a typically hard-bitten role for Wood), with whom ditto - but then there's a heart attack, and The Ram retires to work as a counter hand at the local deli? In your dreams he does!

Fancy writing the rest of the script? Fancy Ram returning to the ring and having another heart attack? There, you've written it. Rourke is great and Tomei an entirely convincing pole dancer; Wood does her familar thing. But it's oh, so predictable, even if it is mighty good to see the talented Rourke at the centre of a movie again.

Director Aronofsky is trying hard to impress here and has mega support from his star. But he needs a better story and more in-depth material.

David Quinlan

USA 2009. UK Distributor: Optimum. Technicolor.
109 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 13 Jan 2009