Before Mickey Rourke’s career and face imploded, he excelled in great movies like Barfly and Angel Heart. He experienced a mild resurgence with Sin City, but this one from director Darren Aronofsky is the real deal. Rourke plays a Hulk Hogan type who must keep wrestling way beyond his prime to pay the rent. Marisa Tomei plays a stripper, and quite nicely. Evan Rachel Wood has some very good scenes as Rourke’s daughter, who gives the guy another shot despite her best judgment. Rourke lets it all hang out in a way that feels very personal. Director Darren Aronofsy, maker of such fine films as The Fountain and Requiem for a Dream, strips down to bare basics filmmaking, and comes up with something extraordinary. Watch out for the stapler scene.

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