FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY
Directed by: Stephen Marchant
Written by: Stephen Marchant
Featuring: Dwayne Johnson, Lena Headey, Vince Vaughn, Florence Pugh, Jack Lowden, Nick Frost
A British wrestler and his family set up local events and help train local youngsters in the skills of wrestling whilst all the while his son has a long-held ambition to get on the world stage and fight for World Wrestling Entertainment, unfortunately things do not pan out as planned.
Stephen Marchant longtime collaborator with one Mr. Ricky Gervais has also carved a nice niche for himself in solo projects on TV and film. Here he tries his hand at feature-film directing and writing and it has to be said he appears to have learned a great deal from his years in the business and applied it.
He has crafted a film, that on paper would only appeal to dedicated fans to pro-wrestling, but skilfully and artfully made it a film about something else whilst not losing the focus on the wrestling. With a great cast, I even enjoyed the much maligned Vince Vaughn who for some reason has become a bit of hate-figure recently, he is ably assisted in this funny and entertaining story of love, family, pursuing your dreams and redemption.
No doubt Mr. Merchant was helped no end by the quite fantastic Florence Pugh and Jack Lowden who are wholly believable as brother and sister. Throw into the mix Nick Frost playing a part of a real person who was seemingly made for him to play and Leana Headly throwing off her Cersei mantel with some ease as the determined family lynch-pin Julia and frankly, even with a poor script and story, you would still get something watchable. With a great script and mostly true story you are onto a winner. Fighting With My Family is undoubtedly a winner.
Bringing in all of this under two hours and you have a fun, interesting and entertaining film. Throw in ‘The Rock’ with his charisma and worldwide recognition and you are going to the championship belt with some ease.
If the film lags or loses momentum anywhere it is that part where you can almost see the fingerprints of the WWE. Throughout the film it is made clear the Saraya/Paige and her family run scripted wrestling events, yes I know people get genuinely hurt in these and they are difficult and athletic but they are scripted and staged, once we get into the world of the WWE, the apex of the families dreams, there is the implication that the bouts are spontaneous. This is nonsense, there has been a court case where it has to be admitted, it does not harm the product and it is still as fun. It’s a shame this part could not be as adult as the rest of the film.
Fighting With My Family is good old underdog fights their way to the top, learns a lot about their family and life in the process and wins against all odds story and as an added bonus it is 90% a true story.
In all honesty just over 90 minutes with Saraya and her family is as pleasant a way to spend some spare time you have.