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The movie centers on Randy 'The Ram', an aging professional wrestler, decades past his prime, who now barely gets by working small wrestling shows in VFW halls and as a part-time grocery store employee. Randy lives to be a hero once again in the only place he considers home, inside the ring.
A quarter-century (and, one senses, a lot longer in Rourke Years) since he pulled the popcorn-bag trick on Carol Heathrow and then talked his way back into her good graces, we'll still forgive Mickey Rourke anything.
The movie presses too hard and too often, but the performances are strong enough to withstand the melodramatic impulses, and the themes of isolation and self-destructiveness are too sharply realized to be trivialized.