Monday, December 29, 2008

The Resurection of Mickey Rourke

If there was ever a movie star that I could almost see going to seed and Britney Spears level failure it would be Mickey Rourke. He never made the A-list movies (if you concider 8 1/2 weeks an a-lister) and he did some pretty bizarre things in his personal life to make everyone write him off as a loser. However I always knew that there was something great inside that damage form. Then came SIN CITY where he played the 'human tank' MARV in a role that brought back Rourke and made him a bankable actor again providing he could continually find the right role. Of course he was never going to be Harry Potter but for the role of a tough, take no prisoners killer with a heart of gold then he needs to be your current go to guy. So after his mistaken lack of awards for SIN CITY (a sin in itself) bacause MARV was a comic book creature that I thought could never be brought to life he was just looking for his next great role and he found it with THE WRESTLER. Here he plays washed up former wrestler RANDY 'the Ram' who has fallen on hard times and is wrestling weekends just to keep going. Definately not the big room or televised gigs. We see him involved in the kind of match that involves barbed wire and bug spray and being body slammed on glass. Such matches are beneath him though concidering all he has done and achieved in his chosen sport. He even has a heart attack when his broken down body seems to be almost out of juice. With his sadness we also see a men with respect from his peers and respect for the younger wrestlers on their way up who to them he is a god. And through all his suffering (losing his girl and his daughter - both he is trying to establish a new life with) we see a spirit that refuses to be snuffed out-a spirit that has learned to put one foot in front of the other and soldier on. This movie creates the same vibe as the original ROCKY and for both actors playing such 'down and outers' with one last shot of redeption you need the actor at the center to radiate sadness and hopelessness but also unswerving bravery. Create someone for all of us to root because he represents the fighting spirit in all of us...the desire to leave this life with a mark - to leave it as a MAN. I have a soft spot for these kind of characters where you just know the downworld spiral that is his life will be redeemed by his love for a good woman. And having seen the movie it would be a crying shame to deny Rouke or Marissa Tomei an oscar nomination for best actor and the movie itself for best picture. Darren Andoronsky (who also made the genius REQUIEM FOR A DREAM and THE FOUNTAIN) has always created films that grabbed my attention after so many multiple viewings and for this reason I hope he gets the directing props this movie deserves. Now for the trifecta Mickey - you owe us one more great role.

"I don't get hurt in the ring...the only place I get hurt is out there."

A lesson to all of us to find that small part of our world where we fit in and hold onto it like grim death cause it will never come this way again.

1 comment:

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