"Platt to the Mat"
Ready To Rumble
Review by Ross Anthony

Man oh man, this movie had me laughing so hard, tears were running down the creases of my smile-swollen cheeks. I was just one big baby balling my eyes out. Now I'm not saying it was one-hunderd-precent, whoop-*ss, neck-breaking, knee-slapping fun - but a swift kick to the gonads leaves a lasting impression.

In the spirit of "Dumb and Dumber" (mock me if you will, but I loved that film!) and more recently "Waterboy," "Ready to Rumble" brings back lovable idiots to the screen. Stocky sparkplug Scott Caan, who played the charming beer-minded jock in "Varsity Blues" is given more room to show his acting, wrestling and funnyboner finesse. ("Blues" was a fine flick as a matter of fact, though not especially funny.) David Arquette is Scott's "Dumber" in this silly, innocently heart-warming mockery of a sport that is a mockery already. (A spoof of a spoof - is that a double negative?)

Scott and David worship wrestling czar Jimmy King (Oliver Platt), and come to his rescue after he looses his title as well as his self-respect. Immediately following a few wince-able opening seconds, a surreal wrestling rumble erupts in a small town convenient store, bringing the first of many shouts of laughter from this cheering crowd. The sequence as with the other wrestling scenes are filmed aptly, every power hit will leave you gasping. Martin Landau even makes an appearance as body-flipping wrestling guru.

But the plot is broader than just rasslin'. David's dad is a hard guy cop who pistol whips his wussy son into obedience. His reply to David's wimpy desire to follow his dream, "Charles Manson followed his dream, Joseph Stalin, Michael Bolton..." There were many other hard hitting punch lines that I scribbled down, but admittedly they lie rather limp on canvas when not brought to life by these talented actors and filmmakers. (Makes you wonder how this script got sold.) In fact, the scene where King returns to make peace with his estranged wife and kid, had me down for the count in uncontrollable laughter. After that, it didn't matter that the ending went more silly than funny or that a fistful of other punch lines failed to set the teeth a-chattering.

"Rumble" is as funny as a van full of nuns singing Van Halen's "Running with the Devil." If you love this kind of thing, this is just the kind of thing you'll love.

  • Ready To Rumble. Copyright © 2000. Rated NYR.
  • Starring Scott Caan, David Arquette, Oliver Platt, Bill Goldberg, Rose McGowan and Diamond Dallas Page, Joe Pantoliano, Martin Landau.
  • Directed by Brian Robbins.
  • Written by Steven Brill.
  • Produced by Bobby Newmyer, Jeffrey Silver at WB/Bel-Air/Outlaw.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:55:26 PDT