Sunday, March 3, 2019

[Film Review] Fighting with My Family


The WWE Studios production Fighting with My Family is a fun romp that takes a leap off the top ropes into the amazing story of the rise of superstar professional wrestler, Paige.

Florence Pugh plays Saraya (whom we will come to know as Paige). She’s an all black-wearing, metal-listening teen who comes from a family of wrestlers, including her parents (Nick Frost and Lena Headey) and her brother Zak (Jack Lowden). For a chance at a big break, Saraya and Zak land an audition for the WWE, and well, it’s not a painless gig. The film enthusiastically details Paige’s journey from underdog to fan-favorite. 

Director Stephen Merchant (who also makes an amusing appearance in the film) stages the scenes with vigorous energy and light-hearted humor. But there’s just enough conflict to add some weight to the plot, especially as Paige begins to surpass her brother in the wrestling world, which creates some tense sibling grapples, while exploring the ideas of the “It” factor and chasing dreams, as well as the devastating blows you face when you don’t reach those dreams. Florence Pugh gives a solid central performance, demonstrating dynamic and versatile range throughout the main event. Megastar and possible future president Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson shows up for a few scenes, essentially playing himself and once again proving that the guy has enough charisma to part oceans. Also impressive is Vince Vaughn, who plays a no-holds-barred trainer with a keen sense of how the cutthroat industry works. He’s brash and sharp and he possesses great comic timing, all while managing to a likable and memorable character. He’s definitely a highlight. 

As the bell rings, Fighting with My Family delivers plenty of charm, warm emotion, and just like the WWE itself — good old-fashioned entertainment. 

8/10

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