The one movie of 2008 that really gave The Dark Night a run for it’s buck is Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke and a topless Marisa Tomei who won an academy award for her role in the legendary film, My Cousin Vinny.
Mickey Rourke plays Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson, an aging washed-up 80’s professional wrestler with a shattered personal life. In between trips to the strip club, his daughter’s New Jersey house, and his trailer park home, ‘The Ram’ performs at smalltime wrestling shows in matches that include staple guns, barbed wire, glass, razor blades, and ladders in order to pay his rent. However, I am not here to provide a detailed review of the flick—I will only say that this movie has my wholehearted recommendation.
The music that the filmmakers chose to use in The Wrestler makes for a headbanger’s delight. Here is a list of the most important tracks:
1. “Metal Health (Bang Your Head)” by Quiet Riot opens the film while images of ‘The Ram’s’ prime are displayed. The track is also used as his entrance music with exception to his final match.
2. “Round and Round” by Ratt was perfect for a bar scene between Rourke and Tomei, as they have a magical jukebox moment singing the chorus together and talking about classic 80’s metal. One of the best lines of the movie was ‘The Ram’s’ observation during their discussion: “And that Cobain pussy had to come around and and ruin it all…90’s sucked”
3. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses is ‘The Ram’s’ ring entrance music in his fight against The Ayatollah. On a side note, Tomei wears a red Mötley Crüe shirt in the scene.
4. “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” by Cinderella plays on Randy’s van stereo as he drives to his locked trailer home following a match.
5. “Balls To The Wall” by Accept plays as ‘The Ram’ prepares for a comeback to the ring.
6. “Animal Magnetism” by The Scorpions while Marisa Tomei performs at the strip club.
7. “Dangerous” by Slaughter is another sweet tune heard during another Tomei strip scene.
8. “The Wrestler” by Bruce Springsteen plays during the film’s credits. Even though it is not Hard Rock, The Boss’s song really captures the essence of the protagonist’s plight and provides an excellent summation of the character.
9. “Don’t Walk Away” by Firehouse
10. “I’m Insane” by Ratt
Darren Aronofsky’s application of 80’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal in The Wrestler is highly appropriate and truly necessary to accurately paint the picture of Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson. This is 2008’s best usage of Heavy Metal in a theatrical release by far.
Note: The official movie soundtrack is now available at amazon.com however it lacks “Sweet Child” and the Golden Globe award winning “The Wrestler.”
Watch the movie trailer