Where cinema trash, is cinema treasure.
Written By: Steven Brill
Directed By: Brian Robbins
A movie that only could have only been made at the height of wrestling’s popularity in the late 90s.
The buddy road trip movie, two lifelong friends throw everything aside and embark on a journey to save their favorite wrestler in his darkest hour.
The cult status of this movie is undoubtedly in question at the time this article was written and even in the pro wrestling community this movie is considered insulting in the portrayal of wrestling fans.
My Aside to this –
What I feel is an attempt to make fun/goofy characters look like total underdogs living out their wildest dream comes off instead like two goofy guys with crappy lives that are made to look stupid. Also committing the most foul adult pro wrestling fan thing to do: they think pro wrestling is real. That is where the movie can lose the prospective wrestling fan who wants to put themselves in the shoes of these characters. Perhaps this movie would be better suited for people who don’t care as much about the world of pro wrestling as the fans who are vested in it, but instead people who aren’t overwhelmed by the pro wrestling overtones to get to a goofy road trip comedy with a lot of funny moments. I will make my case for the humor below.
Reasons to check this film out!
– The CAST! Oliver Platt as “Jimmy King” shades of Jerry “The King” Lawler (pro wrestling legend), Dusty Rhodes (pro wrestling legend) and the Waco Kid (Gene Wilder’s “Jim” in Blazing Saddles), Joe Pantoliano as “Titus Sinclair” the promoter, Martin Landau as “Sal Bandini” and many other interesting casting choices outside of David Arquette and Scott Caan as the main characters.
– An easy to follow story with an over the top “National Lampoons” style that would have probably been more popular in the late 80s/early 90s than a decade later with the wrestling fans.
– Writer Steven Brill also wrote characters for D2 and characters/screenplay for D3 The Mighty Ducks sequels, Heavy Weights (1995) with Judd Apatow and a movie that has nearly the same ratings on IMDB (5.3) and Rotten Tomatoes (22%): Little Nicky (2000) and his latest effort Walk of Shame (2014) hit right above the same zone with IMDB (6.0) and Rotten Tomatoes (25%). His IMDB is proof of movies that have a lot of the same kind of over the top scenes and ridiculous character types as you see in this movie.
– Although I have never seen anyone write contrary, this is a very well shot movie by Director Brian Robbins who also directed Varsity Blues (1999). It adds to the easy digestion of this film, great driving shots and well done action scenes, not just the wrestling ones.
– A soundtrack that fit not only the movie but the a great time capsule of songs from the era.
– Sports comedy fans might give this one a try, it doesn’t try to outsmart you for not being a wrestling fan. In a genre that doesn’t get much love anymore, what do you have to lose?
5 out of 5 Trash Cans