Monday, February 4, 2019

Review: Fighting With My Family

Release date: February 14, 2019
Running time: 108 minutes
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Lena Headey, Florence Pugh 

What would you do to achieve your dream?  And what would it take to actually realize that dream once you were given the opportunity?  Fighting With My Family is a WWE produced movie based on the true story of WWE Divas phenom Paige.  The story follows Paige's unlikely journey wrestling in an obscure English amateur wrestling league to the largest wrestling federation in the world.  There was much more drama than I had thought there would be, which I enjoyed seeing.  Although wrestling is a key focus of the movie, a lot of the film deals with Paige's own personal struggles going from her tight knit, familiar family setting to the more ruthless process of trying to become a wrestling professional.  

And to complement the drama (and as is instantly clear from the trailer), there is a surprising amount of humor thrown in.  As with any good WWE event, there is plenty of fighting, dramatic performances, and a good amount of humor thrown in to keep the audience entertained.  The characters are all quirky and entertaining; the story is fun to follow; and the overall effort put in by Paige to fulfill her dream is great to see.  Pugh is believable as a young Paige and has you rooting for her from the start.  The Rock and Vince Vaughn are both perfect in their roles, with the Rock adding his trademark humor and wrestling authenticity to the film.  

The movie is not without its flaws.  The character progression is made for Hollywood, with too convenient character changes and epiphanies at just the right times.  Also, the movie takes some liberties with the time line that makes the last part of the movie seem too convenient to be true.  The compressed timeline also cheapens the effort that Paige put forth to fulfill her dream, making it seem like she worked hard, but that it wasn't as difficult as the real life story.

Despite these minor flaws, Fighting With My Family gives you a heartwarming story, filled with thoroughly enjoyable characters and action, that takes some creative liberties but still tells a solid tale.  I haven't watched wrestling in years (I used to sneak downstairs to watch WCW on Saturday morning before my parents woke up) but I loved this film; fans of wrestling, both old and new, will enjoy watching this.

Watch it

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