Okay Guys, we’ve all been there. Your significant other wants to watch a movie that you are not exactly thrilled to watch but go along with anyways (even though your heart is set on watching Endgame again). And to make matters worse, this is a movie about wrestling, produced by the WWE and Dwayne Johnson and directed by one of the guys who played Caliban at the same time that another dude was playing Caliban, Stephen Merchant.
However, I will be the first to say that this biopic about WWE Diva, Paige, is stellar and deserves to be talked about with other acclaimed sports dramedies, like A League Of Their Own, The Replacements, or Jerry Maquire. Currently sporting a 93% on the useless Rotten Tomatoes, this is one of the few movies that actually deserves it’s rating. Aside from a stellar cast that includes, Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth), Lena Headly (Game of Thrones), Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead), and Simon Pegg lookalike, Jack Lowden (Dunkirk), this movie has a surprising amount of heart, humor, and grit to make it an instant sports classic.
The best part about this movie is not only does it tell a powerful, uplifting story about a strong woman that achieves her childhood dream, it does so without spoiling it with over the top feminism that has spoiled other movies attempting to do the same thing. It also masterfully crafts the important “family” element that a story like this needs. The relationship between Paige and her brother, Zak, is relatable on so many levels. Both Paige and Zak have trained to be professional wrestlers their whole life but when Paige is picked over Zak at a tryout, their relationship quickly starts to corrode and watching them repair that is one of the highlights of the film.
Now, with every movie there are negatives. The story includes cameos by a handful of WWE legends including, Big Show, Sheamus, The Miz, John Cena, Zelina Vega, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, all of which, with the exception of Zelina Vega who appears not as her own character but as AJ Lee, are reduced to pointless bit devices. The worst offender being The Rock who I am not actually sure had a role in the shaping of Paige’s career, but is featured in the movie as the guy who breaks the news to Paige that she made it, seemingly to just give him a role. Vince Vaughn, who we know is not a famous wrestler, plays Hutch (doing his best Norman Dale impression) an asshole coach who does whatever he can to make Paige’s life a living hell who eventually takes the mantle of “architect” and the one who was the first to see the magnificence of Paige. The choice of Vaughn was interesting but, despite being a terrible actor, never lets his screen time overshadow Florence Pugh who needed to be loved by the viewer in order to feel the real emotional depth behind this surprisingly well made movie.
So yes, throw your stones, shout your insults, I am whole heartedly endorsing a WWE wrestling movie and I am not ashamed! Fighting With My Family is a stellar addition to a long list of heartfelt sports movies and deserves a strong 4 out of 5 couch cushions.
Don’t forget to check out Couch Crunchers LIVE tonight on YouTube, where Tyler and Sam will be talking about the recent flop X-Men: Dark Phoenixand more Fab or Flub Headlines. Tonight’s special guest is our good friend Matt from Absolute Geek Podcast.
FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY is a heartwarming comedy based on the incredible true story of WWE Superstar Paige™. Born into a tight-knit wrestling family, Paige and her brother Zak are ecstatic when they getthe once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try out for WWE. But when only Paige earns a spot in the competitive training program, she must leave her family and face this new, cut-throat world alone. Paige’s journey pushes her to dig deep, fight for her family, and ultimately prove to the world that what makes her different is the very thing that can make her a star. Director & Writer: Stephen Merchant Cast:Florence Pugh, Lena Headey, Nick Frost, Jack Lowden, With Vince Vaughn And Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Producers: Kevin Misher, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Stephen Merchant, Michael J. Luisi