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"THE WRESTLER"
(2008) (Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Extreme Heavy Mild None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy None Minor Heavy Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Minor Heavy Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Now middle-aged, a former pro wrestler continues to perform in decidedly less than stellar venues but must contend with his ravaged and faltering body, all while hoping to reconcile with his estranged adult daughter and believing he might have a romantic future with a stripper.
PLOT:
Back in the 1980s, Randy "The Ram" Robinson (MICKEY ROURKE) was a popular professional wrestler, entertaining the masses with his in the ring antics, including his legendary rivalry with fellow wrestler, The Ayatollah (ERNEST MILLER). Now middle-aged and with a faltering body both from the natural aging process and the ravages the sport have inflicted on it, he still wrestles, albeit on a much smaller and decidedly less than grandiose scale.

When not earning some money from that or attempting to make some bucks from his past fame and fan meet and greet sessions, he works at the local grocery for boss Lenny (MARK MARGOLIS) during the day, and visits stripper Cassidy (MARISA TOMEI) at her workplace at night. She has a soft spot for him but must still treat him as a customer, while he hopes that perhaps there's something more between them.

After all, he's a lonely man, living in a trailer by himself, lamenting the fact that he barely knows his ultra-estranged adult daughter, Stephanie (EVAN RACHEL WOOD), who wants nothing to do with him. As he tries to make amends with her and romantic inroads with Cassidy, he must contend with various setbacks that not only complicate his goals, but also threaten to put an end to the only thing that makes sense to him -- professional wrestling.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of anyone in the cast, the film's director, or professional wrestling, it doesn't seem that likely, especially among pre-teens.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For violence, sexuality/nudity, language and some drug use.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MICKEY ROURKE plays a middle-aged professional wrestler who's still performing despite his body beginning to falter from both age and all of the abuse he's taken over the years in the ring. He wants to reconcile with his estranged adult daughter, desires to turn his relationship with Cassidy into something romantic, uses strong profanity, has casual sex with a stranger (after snorting coke), drinks some, and must contend with a seemingly dead-end life and profession that once afforded him with fame.
  • MARISA TOMEI plays the stripper he's sweet on, a single mom who's reluctant to mix business and pleasure. She drinks some (downing a bottle of beer in one gulp), uses strong profanity, and performs nearly fully nude, doing sexually related moves and such for her male customers.
  • EVAN RACHEL WOOD plays Randy's estranged adult daughter who wants nothing to do with him, but reluctantly decides to give him a second chance. She uses strong profanity.
  • MARK MARGOLIS plays Randy's grocery store boss who's caught watching porn at work, and both does and doesn't cut Randy some slack at work.
  • ERNEST MILLER plays Randy's professional wrestling rival from long ago who agrees to a rematch in the ring.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 53 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue is present, as is the sight of various strippers in just small thongs (meaning views of bare breasts, mostly bare butts, and sexually related moves, etc.), while there's a sexual encounter (with movement, nudity and sounds) and another one (male to female oral sex) briefly seen on a small TV.

    Violence consists of standard behavior in pro wrestling matches, as well as one such scene that turns far more barbaric, while a man purposefully cuts his hand with a deli meat carver. Some of that has very bloody/gory results and some of that footage might be unsettling and/or suspenseful to some viewers.

    There's behavior that some kids might want to imitate, characters drink, one uses drugs (cocaine) and steroids, and there are other drug references, while there's brief smoking. Some bad attitudes are present, while several scenes feature tense family material (a strained father/adult daughter relationship).

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's a full strobe effect during some wrestling matches.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's a great deal of handheld (and thus very bouncy) camerawork at various points in the film (mostly following characters as they walk along, etc.).


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Randy downs some prescription pills with beer.
  • Randy tells another wrestler that after their bout they'll have a beer.
  • A bouncer asks Randy if he can get some Vicodin and such from the latter's supplier of such products.
  • Randy and others drink in a strip club.
  • Randy's supplier sells him some steroids, and then asks if he needs anything else, such as Vicodin, Viagra or blow (cocaine). Randy says he doesn't need any of the latter.
  • We see beer bottles in front of Randy in his trailer.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in the strip club.
  • Randy asks Cassidy to have a beer with him, she says she can't, but he then says it would be just one beer and she then agrees. We then see them and a handful of others drinking in a bar. She then gets up to leave, he reminds her about the one beer pledge, and she downs hers in one gulp.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in the strip club.
  • Randy orders some tequila in the strip club, but is told to leave before he has any.
  • Randy and others drink shots after another wrestler says they should get some drinks. Randy later snorts some cocaine before having sex with a woman who's come on to him at the bar.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Randy breaks a razor into a smaller piece, hides that in his wrist bandage, and later uses that on himself (cutting his forehead) for dramatic effect during a bout.
  • Randy has some bad scars from previous injuries.
  • A sequence in the film cuts back and forth between a barbaric wrestling match between Randy and another wrestler, and the bloody/gory aftermath of that as both are treated for their wounds. During this, we see staples (from a large stapler) in Randy's back and one being removed from the opponent's forehead, as well as Randy smashing a large pane of glass over his opponent. We then see the very beginning where Randy's opponent staples a dollar to his own forehead and also hits Randy with that stapler, driving staples into his body. He also uses a fork to dig into Randy's head. We see a close-up of a large glass shard being pulled from an open wound on Randy's body, and then flashback to the men and the use of barbwire during the match, including one landing hard on a table covered in that. All of that has very bloody results.
  • After a brutal bout, Randy vomits in the dressing room (seen in full, including some on his lips after that).
  • Randy has a large scar on his chest from his open heart surgery.
  • We see what looks like a partially filled catheter bag attached to an old wrestler's leg (while he's seated).
  • Fed up with working behind the deli counter, Randy purposefully pushes part of his hand into the meat slicer (with very bloody results).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some young men are disrespectful of Cassidy (after she offers to do sexual things for them at the strip club) and then to Randy when he walks in to defend her from them.
  • Randy tells Pam that he thinks Stephanie might be a lesbian, and we hear/learn that Randy was never around when Stephanie was growing up.
  • To get inside an empty construction area on a deserted boardwalk, Stephanie kicks in the locked door.
  • Randy is disappointed that Cassidy doesn't have equal romantic feelings toward him (or at least won't admit it or allow herself), and then plunks down money for a lap dance, making a comment about her "t*tties" and such. He's then told to leave and does.
  • An older woman is ultra demanding of her deli order with Randy, repeatedly telling him it weighs too much and then too little and then back and forth to the point of ultra-picky annoyance.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling and/or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • After a brutal bout, Randy vomits in the dressing room (seen in full, including some on his lips after that). He then collapses to the floor (from a heart attack).
  • Not long after his open heart surgery, Randy decides to start working out again and goes jogging through the woods, only to experience strong chest pains that stop him in his tracks.
  • Despite the inherent dangers of doing so, what with his bad heart and recent open heart surgery, Randy returns to the ring for a big bout. During this, he experiences pain, concerning his opponent, but continues on, determined to give everyone a good show.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Time f*cking flies," "Who the f*ck are you?" "F*ck you (asshole)," "Beat the f*ck out of him," "Oh f*ck," "Look at that m*therf*cker," "You sick f*ck" (shouted in unison by those in the crowd), "Where the f*ck were you?" "I'm so f*cking psyched," "F*cking eighties," "F*cking sucked," "Just wear the f*cking thing," "Get the f*ck out of here," "Get a f*cking room," "You're a f*ck-up," "A living, breathing f*ck-up," "You're a f*cking asshole," "I f*cking hate you," "I can't f*cking do this anymore," "What the f*ck are you doing?" "Oh sh*t," "Beat the sh*t out of us," "That's bullsh*t," "Best sh*t ever," "I think that's a load of bullsh*t," "I don't give a sh*t," "The world doesn't give a sh*t about me," "Skank ass p*ssy," "You little pr*ck," "You fat piece of crap," "You are one smashing babe," "Hell of a match," "I just gave you an ass whipping," "You're such an asshole," "She sort of ripped me a new asshole," "Kick ass," "Spooky ass," "You saved my ass," "I screwed this up," "So damn familiar" and "I know I came off like a bitch."
  • The wrestling action (and some of the more brutal aspects in one scene, including the use of a stapler, barbwire and such) might be enticing for some kids to try to imitate.
  • Randy and other wrestlers have tattoos.
  • A male wrestler has pierced nipples.
  • A male wrestler has a Mohawk haircut.
  • Randy breaks a razor into a smaller piece, hides that in his wrist bandage, and later uses that on himself (cutting his forehead) for dramatic effect during a bout.
  • Cassidy has pierced nipples and various tattoos.
  • Randy and another wrestler try out hitting each other with various objects found in a store including a large aluminum oven pan (on the head) and a metal frying pan to each other's back.
  • We see miscellaneous graffiti.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A little bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • We couldn't fully hear and/or understand some lyrics to songs playing in a strip club, thus presenting the possibility of them potentially containing something objectionable.
  • A song has several uses of the "f" word in it.
  • A song has the lyric "Balls to the wall."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 53 "f" words (1 used with "mother"), 12 "s" words, 2 slang terms using female genitals ("p*ssy"), 1 using male ones ("pr*ck"), 1 for breasts ("t*tties"), 12 asses (5 used with "hole"), 4 hells, 1 crap, 1 damn, 17 uses of "G-damn," 4 of "Oh God" and 1 use each of "God" and "Oh Jesus."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see various photos of shirtless male wrestlers.
  • At various points in the film, we see Randy and other shirtless male wrestlers in and out of the ring (some wearing small and tight wrestling shorts).
  • We see female dancers doing their thing for male patrons in a strip club, including suggestively moving around dance poles wearing just tiny thong bottoms. Randy is there and goes looking for Cassidy, finding her promising sexual adventure for some young men (including doing things one's fiancée would not do). The guys aren't respectful of her (terms such as "skank ass p*ssy" are used) and Randy defends her, prompting them to leave. She's also in just a small thong bottom and then does a lap dance for (and on) Randy.
  • We see Randy's bare butt as he injects himself there with some steroids.
  • We see Randy in just his underwear in a tanning salon.
  • We see part of Randy's bare butt in his hospital robe that's open in the back.
  • We see various bare-breasted performers in the strip club, while Cassidy wears a fishnet type top that shows her bare breasts through that.
  • We see the shape of nipples under the shirt worn by Stephanie's roommate.
  • We see more bare breasts in the strip club.
  • Randy walks in on his boss watching porn at work (a man performing oral sex on a woman, seen in the distance on a small TV, no real details seen, but her sexual sounds are heard).
  • Randy's grocery store boss tells him he'll be working in the deli and sarcastically adds that the hot and "horny" housewives will be "waiting for your meat."
  • Cassidy shows varying amounts of cleavage in various outfits in several scenes.
  • Cassidy states that she has a nine-year-old son and that knowledge of that usually isn't a turn-on for men.
  • Randy and Cassidy briefly but passionately kiss while clothed in a bar, but she then stops them and leaves.
  • Randy jokes, while taking a woman's order for chicken breasts at the deli counter, that that's what he wants, two big breasts.
  • Cassidy does a sexy dance on stage in her bra and panties, working the pole and crawling on all fours, etc. We also see some of her bare-breasted coworkers in this scene (but not on stage with her).
  • Randy is disappointed that Cassidy doesn't have equal romantic feelings toward him (or at least won't admit it or allow herself), and then plunks down money for a lap dance, making a comment about her "t*tties" and such. He's then told to leave and does.
  • A woman comes on to Randy in a bar. We then see him snorting some coke before making out and then having rigorous and standing, rear entry sex with her (we see movement and her bare breasts) in a public restroom. A woman then walks in on them and then back out, disgustedly telling them to get a room. The next morning, he wakes up in the first woman's bedroom (she's in the shower, not seen) and he's surprised by all of the firemen-related beefcake posters on her walls (mostly shirtless, with one holding a chainsaw at his crotch in a phallic fashion). He then gets up and leaves.
  • A poster in Randy's place shows a bare-breasted woman.
  • We see Cassidy doing another sexy dance on the stage (bent over, thus showing most of her bare butt in her thong bottom, moving along the pole, and spreading her legs wide, etc.).
  • SMOKING
  • Randy smokes once, as does a miscellaneous person.
  • Cassidy lies to her coworkers that she's going out for a smoke break (instead she goes out to talk to Randy).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Randy states that his young adult daughter doesn't like him.
  • When Randy shows up unannounced to see Stephanie, she's obviously not happy about that development, some of which stems (we then hear) from him never being around for her while she was growing up, including on her birthdays.
  • Randy unintentionally shows that he barely knows his daughter when he asks Cassidy for help in buying Stephanie a gift, but has no idea about what she likes, etc.
  • Randy realizes too late they he forgot about having dinner with Stephanie (instead he had sex with a stranger in a public restroom), and she's mad when he goes to see her, stating she waited hours in the restaurant, and hates and now wants absolutely nothing to do with him (for falling back into his old pattern of constantly disappointing her). She also throws some stuff at him, hitting his body.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Professional wrestling and those who participate in the sport.
  • How some retired pro athletes have nothing but their glory days (and accompanying paraphernalia for sale) to keep them going.
  • Women who make a living by stripping for men.
  • Randy stating that the only place he gets hurt is outside the ring since "the world doesn't give a sh*t about me."
  • VIOLENCE
  • There's violence in a pro wrestling match between Randy and another wrestler, with Randy purposefully banging a metal chair on his own head, followed by punching (including to Randy's crotch), elbowing (to the throat) and such. When the opponent picks up and spins Randy around the ring, the latter's feet hit the ref, knocking him down. After being hit again, Randy takes a broken razor piece (that he previously hid in his wrist bandage) and covertly cuts his own forehead for dramatic effect. During this, the opponent also throws the ref out of the ring.
  • Randy and another wrestler try out hitting each other with various objects found in a store including a large aluminum oven pan (on the head) and a metal frying pan to each other's back.
  • A sequence in the film cuts back and forth between a barbaric wrestling match between Randy and another wrestler, and the bloody/gory aftermath of that as both are treated for their wounds. During this, we see staples (from a large stapler) in Randy's back and one being removed from the opponent's forehead, as well as Randy smashing a large pane of glass over his opponent. We then see the very beginning where both wrestlers are seated and take turns slapping each other quite hard across the face, while Randy's opponent staples a dollar to his own forehead and also hits Randy with that stapler, driving staples into his body. He also uses a fork to dig into Randy's head, while Randy puts a metal trashcan down over that guy and uses a spectator's prosthetic leg to bang that trashcan. We see a close-up of a large glass shard being pulled from an open wound on Randy's body, and then flashback to the men and the use of barbwire during the match, including one landing hard on a table covered in that. All of that has very bloody results.
  • To get inside an empty construction area on a deserted boardwalk, Stephanie kicks in the locked door.
  • Stephanie throws some small items at Randy, hitting him on the body while upset that he stood her up once again.
  • Fed up with working behind the deli counter, Randy purposefully pushes part of his hand into the meat slicer (with very bloody results). He then punches his boss and knocks all sorts of stuff around and off shelves, etc.
  • Randy battles his old rival in (and out of) the ring during a rematch, with all sorts of related violence, including his opponent getting him around the neck with a wooden flagpole. At the end, Randy climbs up on the ropes and dives toward his opponent, but we don't see that impact or the outcome of the bout.



  • Reviewed November 10 / Posted December 25, 2008

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