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Ready to Rumble

Rated [PG-13]
Starring David Arquette, Oliver Platt, Scott Caan
Screenplay by Steven Brill
Directed by Brian Robbins

IN SHORT: You will laugh until it hurts. Or hurt until you laugh.

There is no question about it, David Arquette is one very starange dude. he's strange when he does talk show. He's very strange in his 1-800 telephone ads. But he's off the charts as Gordie Biggs, son of and brother of cops, who faces certain redneck cop doom in his hometown of Lusk, Wyoming. He resists wearing the badge, instead driving a septic tank with best buddy Sean Dawkins (Scott Caan) at his side.

Like lots of almost adults facing years of dreary hell in the only life available to them, Gordie and Sean find a fantasy outlet to take away the pain and make it all better. [actually, with twenty minutes or so of jokes about Number Two, the pain was pretty much inflicted on these old reviewers bones]. Not drugs. Not sex. Something far more important on the vast scale of things cosmic. The eternal battle of good versus evil, Order versus Chaos, Blood and Sweat versus Pernicious Evil brought about by lying, cheating and distracting the referees. Yes, the merger of Ted Turner and Time Warner has led us down the path to a movie starring World Championship Wrestling, called Ready To Rumble, which surely is as close a representation of Hell as anything Cranky has ever sat through . . .

Well, it felt that way for the first twenty minutes, in which we made the observation that if Bill and Ted had the intelligence of Beavis and Butt-head, they would be Sean and Gordy, who find the Meaning of Life in their quest to restore the greatest WCW wrester of all, Jimmy King (Oliver Platt) to his throne as heavyweight champion of the WCW. In their way is Titus Sinclair (Joe Pantoliano), evil mastermind of the WCW, and every wrestling actor who ever dreamed of wearing the belt, which means appearances by just about everyone you see on WCW Monday Night Nitro. Except Hulk Hogan.

Ready to Rumble is no great film, but it is a bust a gut funny piece of [deleted]. One that will go down in the anals of film comedy (its heroes suck out port-a-potties) as a jaw dropper stinker that keeps coming back at you, like a bad bit o' beef, until you have no choice but to roll over and cackle, guffaw, chuckle, grimace, shudder, or, failing that, apologize profusely to your date (or all of the above).

Yep, it's American Pie all over again. From director Brian Robbins (of Varsity Blues, which I liked) and Steven Brill, the writer of Heavyweights (Cranky's 6 year old nephew's favorite film of all time) and Mighty Ducks One Two and Three comes a movie which bombards you with joke after joke until you just can't stand it no more. Teenlets will eat this stuff up from the word go. Old farts like Cranky were writhing in pain Ready to Rumble then unleashes the greatest gag of all . . . Martin Landau in the role of a retired wrestler whose skills and attitude are such that he could turn Sid Vicious (whoever) into a whiny little girly man.

OK that's it. Three taps and I give. Ready to Rumble is funny. Once it gets past the dumb jokes and brings in the inevitable sex element, in the persona of Nitro Girl Sasha (Rose McGowan), it gets even funnier. Once you fall into the gaping maw of jokes it will chomp you up and spit out an exhausted, laughed out mess.

Ready to Rumble is buffoonery stretched to the limit, culminating in a three cage wrestling death match, in which the sound levels on the special effects are pushed up to ear cracking levels. Professional Wrestling may be "fake" but that doesn't stop these mammoth-men from hurting each other, which happens in "real life" and in this flick and, all the while, they keep cracking jokes.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Ready to Rumble, he would have paid...


Yep, it's a dateflick (lighten up, it's just a movie). Best guide I can give is that, if you're in to WCW or WWF right now, or have been and remember flicks like Bill and Ted or or the Beavis and Butt-Head stuff with affection, you'll probably piss yourself laughing at Ready To Rumble

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