Movie Review: Ready To Rumble (2000)

Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of finding the timeless comedy classic Ready to Rumble on VHS.  As you may or may not recall, this gem starred former Courteney Cox husband David Arquette, James Caan’s son Scott Caan, former Marilyn Manson wife Rose McGowan, and Emmy nominee Oliver Platt.  It’s set within the confines of World Championship Wrestling during the late 90’s wrestling boom that hopefully you were fortunate enough to flip back and forth on Monday and Thursday nights.  As such, my main gripe with it is that Platt’s King character is simply too puny to be a believable opponent for even the lankier wrestlers like DDP.  Why they didn’t cast someone big like perhaps Donald Gibb (Ogre from “Revenge of the Nerds”) or even Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Jr. (“No Holds Barred”, “Friday”) is beyond me, but I suppose it’s possible the studio wanted a “credible actor” in the lead, or that WCW didn’t want anyone who’d make the boys look inferior.  So they stuffed him in a black bodysuit and threw him out there to semi-impersonate Jerry Lawler, who was never really built either, come to think of it.  Indeed, a physique is no prerequisite for wrestling success, as the real-life WCW management made the even punier Arquette their world champ (against his wishes) to promote the movie, as you may have heard, but that’s another story for another day.  What ensues is a relentless hour and a half of poo jokes and crotch jokes, where Mean Gene Okerlund manages to steal one scene, but the rest are largely septic in nature.  Rose McGowan’s acting attempts provide some humor as well, but as a viewer I was never quite sure if wrestling was scripted or not in this movie’s reality.  This actually worked to its advantage, though, by giving it that classic WCW feel where nobody knew what the hell was going on at any moment. Basically, this one does exactly what it says on the label, and you get exactly what you came for.  If you ever woke up one morning and said, “Gee, I’d love to see Oscar winner Martin Landau perform the spinning toehold and punch Perry Saturn and Sid Vicious in the nuts,” you’re in luck.  I wish you the best of luck in finding a copy for yourself.  Two-and-a-half stars.

Bif Naked – We’re Not Gonna Take It – “Ready To Rumble” Soundtrack

One Comment on “Movie Review: Ready To Rumble (2000)”

  1. While this is no cinematic masterpiece, I don’t think it’s quite as bad as it’s been made out to be in press. WCW was really in a down period at that point, so it was easy to say that anything they were doing was crap, even if it wasn’t. It was obviously a comedy not meant to be taken seriously.

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