Directed by Brian Robbins
Running Time: 1:46
Rated PG-13 for language, crude humor, sexual content including brief nudity, and wrestling violence.

Just because I know you're dying to know what the deal is with the double rating, I'll cut to the chase. If you're not a wrestling fan, you will not enjoy Ready to Rumble, hence the D. If you are a wrestling fan, you'll love the wrestling scenes, and probably find the rest of the movie boring, hence the C+. I am the latter of the two, so this review is from a wrestling fan's point of view. Mainly because if I wrote it from a non-fan point of view I wouldn't have a whole lot to say.

The movie centers on Gordie (David Arquette) and Sean (Scott Caan), two huge wrestling fans, and more importantly, fans of the great Jimmy King (Oliver Platt). When the two of them see the King get jobbed at a WCW Nitro show, they set out on a hunt to find the King, and bring him back for one last grudge match against Diamond Dallas Page. The movie follows these two as they search for Jimmy, get him to learn all about wrestling again, and take him back to the top. To be honest, everything that didn't include wrestling was pretty dumb and uninteresting (then again a lot of you might say that about everything Including wrestling). There were a lot of sewage jokes, and a lot of crotch jokes. The characters were just your run of the mill idiots. I wasn't sure when I saw him how Oliver Platt could possibly pass for a wrestler, but once I realized who his character was, he looked OK. Not terrific, but OK. Joe Pantoliano did a passable job as the wrestling promoter trying to keep Jimmy King down (I'm thinking Eric Bischoff and Ric Flair personally). I'm not sure what Martin Landau was thinking when he took the role of the old time wrestler (anyone else think of Stu Hart and the Dungeon?). And I thought Rose McGowan had graduated past these cheesy brainless cheerleader-esque skimpy/tight clothing roles. I may not have liked Jawbreaker, but at least her character in the film was interesting. There were a couple of funny spots, but what really made the movie fun at all was seeing all these wrestlers on the big screen.

Like I said before, I am a wrestling fan, so seeing the likes of the Macho Man Randy Savage, Goldberg, Sting and many other WCW wrestlers was a lot of fun. The crowd in the theater screamed and cheered every time a wrestler showed up on camera. I thought the wrestling scenes were done very well (thanks in part to the fact that their wrestling advisor was Chris Kanyon, also of WCW). In fact I dare say that the final triple cage match was better than most of the Pay-Per-Views WCW puts out every month (although the final scene of Dallas Page and the cage brought back memories of Mankind and the Undertaker at Hell in a Cell a couple years back, and that one was for real). The wrestlers didn't really need to act much. Only Diamond Dallas Page and Goldberg really had anything to say. But there was a lot of WCW talent out there. I think one of the sad things is that when this movie was thought up, WCW was on top of the wrestling heap. Number one in the ratings and all that. But since this movie started filming, the WWF has taken over the number one ranking, and most casual fans (or even non-fans) aren't going to recognize a lot of the wrestling talent in the film. The Rock is probably pretty well known in most of the country by now, but Diamond Dallas Page is probably known more for his wife being in Playboy (or was it Penthouse) than for him being a wrestler. It's kind of sad when you have a movie full of WCW wrestlers and once the lights go down, everyone starts chanting (Rock-y, Rock-y). The other good thing about this movie was the soundtrack. Along with a couple of Kid Rock songs, there were a couple of killer covers of Britney Spears' "Baby, One More Time" (done by the Zappa brothers) and Twisted Sisters' "We're Not Gonna Take It" (done by Bif Naked).

So overall, if you're not a wrestling fan, don't bother seeing Ready to Rumble. If you are a wrestling fan, go ahead and see your favorite WCW wrestlers up on the big screen. Just bring some popcorn and soda for the "story" in between the wrestling action.

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Reviewed 03/05/00

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