JOCKEY is a lesser version of THE WRESTLER. It depicts the messiness of being a horse jockey in a similar way, but it doesn’t have the powerhouse performance by Mickey Rourke and flawless direction from Darren Aronofsky.
However, JOCKEY has a mesmerizing performance by Clifton Collins Jr. playing Jackson. Clifton Collins Jr. is known for playing supporting characters in so many movies (PACIFIC RIM, STAR TREK, THE PERFECT GAME, CAPOTE) that it’s nice to see him in a lead performance. He embodies Jackson, an aging injured jockey that’s realizing that as “you start to get older, you and your body aren’t the same.”
JOCKEY is excellent in capturing quiet moments of what it’s like to get old and chase, “that one minute where you feel like the most important thing in the world cause you know everyone is watching you.” That high comes at a cost for these athletes. The film doesn’t shy away from brutal stories about the hell they go through.
Yet where the film fails is that it all feels too small. Audiences have seen the actor performance piece before. With those worn miles, the track is too familiar to separate itself from the rest of the pack.
One aside – it was a pleasure seeing the Turf Paradise race track on the screen. As a kid growing up in Phoenix, my dad used to take me there. So it was a nice personal trip down memory lane.
JOCKEY is coming soon to theatres on December 29th.