Published Apr 01, 2000Ready To Rumble is possibly the best Hollywood wrestling movie since No Holds Barred. However, considering what a flop NHB was financially, and that its plot is horrendous at best (and don't forget Hulk Hogan's acting), that statement should definitely be taken with a tumbler of salt. Ready To Rumble is the story of two obsessive wrestling fanatics, Gordie Boggs (David Arquette, Scream) and Sean Dawkins (Scott Caan, Boiler Room, Varsity Blues), who idolise current World Championship Wrestling heavyweight champion Jimmy King (Oliver Platt, Diggstown, Bulworth). While attending a Monday Night Nitro (WCW's weekly flagship program), Sean and Gordie witness the double-crossing and subsequent destruction of their idol by the morally challenged promoter of WCW, Titus Sinclair (Joe Pantoliano, The Matrix). Defeated and barred from WCW, King disappears, thus inspiring Sean and Gordie to begin a quest to find King and return him to glory. Their quest takes them away from their rural hometown and to Atlanta, GA, (incidentally, where WCW is based) where they track down King. Along the way discovering King is not the man they thought he was - instead of being a regal, rich, role model, he's a drunk, absent father living in a borrowed motor home. Undaunted, the two convince King to attempt a comeback with them by his side.
While story-wise only a step away from becoming Bill and Ted's Excellent Wrestling Adventure, what saves this movie from being intolerable is the superb wrestling choreography, courtesy of Chris Klucsarits (WCW's Mortis and Kanyon), and the numerous roles and cameos by WCW wrestlers like Sting, Goldberg, Kidman, Diamond Dallas Page (who plays himself as King's arch rival), Booker T, Bam Bam Bigelow and Sid Vicious, among a slew of others. Bit part awards should include Martin Landau's sadistic wrestling instructor (Sal) and Rose McGowan's Nitro girl (Sasha). While Ready to Rumble may at times make even the most ardent wrestling ashamed by its use of wrestling stereotypes (some even justified); it does make you laugh almost as often. Almost.