Dwayne Johnson was filming Furious 6 (2013) in the UK when he discovered the 2012 Channel 4 documentary "The Wrestlers: Fighting with My Family" on TV in his hotel room about a crazy English family of wrestlers. The 'underdog' aspect of it instantly appealed to him, prompting him to contact British writer Stephen Merchant about developing the story into a feature-length biopic. Writer-director Merchant, who also plays Hugh in the film, is actually 2" taller than 'The Rock' with whom he'd earlier co-starred in Tooth Fairy (2010). See more »
Paige is seen as a young girl holding a homemade cardboard version of the WWE Divas title, however this title wasn't introduced until 2008, by which time Paige was 16. See more »
The scenes over the end credits come from the 2012 UK Channel 4 documentary 'The Wrestlers: Fighting With My Family'. This is supposedly the documentary The Rock saw that got him interested in producing a film about Paige's story. See more »
Do you Smell What The Rock Is Producing? A Quality Comedy/Drama
Another day, another chance to review a movie, and this morning's review is an interesting film that held much potential to be fun and unique. Sports movies seem to be the theme of this week, though this film certainly is not the typical approach to a typical sport that is portrayed in the film. Robbie K here to take a look at the British comedy about an American sports venue that continues to rake in the dough of Wrestling, and the hidden world that you might not know involved in the theatrical event. Let's get started as I take a look at:
Movie: Fighting With My Family (2019)
Dwayne Johnson, Lena Headey, Vince Vaughn
Good Utilization of Extras
Fighting With My Family may not be the typical comedy given a lot of approaches with this movie, but my friend and I both did enjoy the comedy that was presented. It's a good mix of dry and wet comedy, utilizing slapstick, with witty English humor to bring some epic laughs to the mix that aren't shoved in your face. By not focusing so much on the comedy, Merchant's work was able to tell a deeper story about the WWE legend Paige, pushing into a number of elements that I had not expected from the trailers. Character development, major themes of family, friendship, dedication, and many other subplots actually work well to provide an engaging film that isn't quite the norm for this genre. In addition, it reveals the hard work that goes into becoming a wrestler, and how physically/emotionally demanding the application process can be in something that many do not even pass a look at.
The cast certainly does the job of bringing the tale to life with Florence Pugh and Jack Lowden crushing their performances with characters that drive much of the movie, the former in particular being the central pillar to base everything around. Yet secondary characters played by Nick Frost, Lena Headey and Vince Vaughn are utilized so well that they not only avoid overshadowing, but really mesh well with the main performers. Even the tertiary characters have some good involvement in the film, showing that you can utilize the cast well and tell a very good story, even with a super celebrity in the mix. Needless to repeat, but will anyway, this film utilizes its actors very well, crafting a family component. And it is all done with a pace that is entertaining to watch, not being too caught up in the drama to be slow, and yet still going slow enough to tell much of the story. Certainly this is a unique concept, but also a unique example of how a movie can be done.
The Inclusion of the Extra brother
The Rapid Development of Character Relationships at Times
The Rapid Story jumps at times.
Dramatization Vs. Facts
Finding dislikes for me was a little harder than I anticipated, but here are few parts of the story that were a little off my element. While the characters were done well, the extra brother that got brought in I don't think was utilized as well. Yes, he has his place, but compared to some of the other characters, his arc had some drama and potential, but then kind of fizzled out compared to what I thought they were going to do. In addition, the movie surprisingly made some good character relationships, but then progressed them a little too quickly. I was hoping that there would be a little more time with tending to the flourishing relationship they were starting to build. This is primarily during the wrestling training period where things go from zero to 100% in a relatively short amount of time, and while still good I wanted more development with them in terms of that story arc. And because of trying to fit the tale in the shorter amount of time, the movie, especially near the end led to some hasty jumps that just as things were starting to develop were quickly transitioned to the next phase. Again, I would have liked a little more fleshed out conclusions and integrations, but it certainly is not as short sheeted as some other films have done.
In regards to the dramatization, well it works to add that Hollywood magic to jazz up stories, but I do understand that those who know Paige's story might want more fact than fiction. I can't really say I know the story, but the movie works well to blend the structures with that Hollywood magic to make it entertaining. If you are fans of the story of the youngest Diva though, then brace yourself for some potential divergence. In regards to the rest of the tale, the semi predictable plot is something else difficult to ignore, though again, the rest of the movie sort of offsets this component so it's only a minor area of improvement.
Surprisingly, the movie worked much better than what I was expecting from the trailers. It's balanced on many levels, telling an entertaining story, with multiple levels than the typical comedy brings to you. With great use of characters/actors, comedy that is a bit diversified, and a pace that brings the wrestling world to life, you have a fantastic film to get lost into. Yet, there are still a few other components still in need of more time than anything else, to take those components they were building and strengthen them further. I enjoyed this film a lot to warrant a trip to the theater, but can understand if you want to reserve your trips to the more special effect frenzy that other films have going for it. Definitely look for it at home though.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 8.0
66 of 74 people found this review helpful.
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