Ready to Rumble

2000, PG-13, 100 min. Directed by Brian Robbins. Starring David Arquette, Oliver Platt, Scott Caan, Rose McGowan, Bill Goldberg, Diamond Dallas Page, Joe Pantoliano, Martin Landau.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., April 14, 2000

I'm sorry. I laughed. I know the whole country has spent the past week trashing this wrestling comedy's asinine plot, premise, and performances. And I agree with the naysayers 100% -- as long as they notice that there's a “one” accompanying those two big zeros. But I laughed, not for the whole 100 minutes, but enough to know that discounting the movie's crude and uncouth humor wholesale would be dishonest. Call me jaded, but maybe there's something pleasurable about a comedy that has no pretensions about where it's coming from. The movie's most recurrent humor derives from blows to the testicles (in fact, the now-common outtake reel that accompanies the closing credits consists of nothing but these little nutcrackers) and the comic consequences of a career spent driving a septic-tank truck. David Arquette and Scott Caan play Dumber and Dumbest (no, these aren't the characters' real names, but you get the point), the world's biggest wrestling fans. The first 15 minutes (which, for my money are the best 15 in the film) set the story in motion as it establishes the personal meaning that wrestling holds for Dumber and Dumbest and their obsession with star Jimmy King (Platt). (“Jimmy King says I can be anyone.” “No,” says the other. “That's I can beat anyone.”) Arquette and Caan are agreeable enough doofuses, although Platt is a bit of a stretch as a believable wrestler. He is more plump than powerful. But his deliciously game demeanor is always a welcome asset to movies, and he's certainly less of a stretch to believe as a wrestler than Martin Landau. Filled with lots of appearances by real wrestling stars, the movie seems a certain shoo-in among a certain demographic. But if you're going, hit the theatres soon because this one looks ready to tumble.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Brian Robbins Films
A Thousand Words
Eddie Murphy plays a truth-challenged literary agent who learns his lesson when a bizarre set of circumstances allow him to utter only 1,000 words before dying.

Kimberley Jones, March 16, 2012

Meet Dave
Eddie Murphy reteams with his Norbit director for this new extraterrestrial comedy in which miniature aliens operate a spaceship that has a human form.

Marjorie Baumgarten, July 18, 2008

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
Sound Unseen Review: <i>Stardust</i>
Sound Unseen Review: Stardust
The birth of Bowie the icon retold with more glimmer than glitter

Nov. 16, 2020

Damnation
Béla Tarr's turning point drama lovingly and bleakly restored

Nov. 13, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Ready to Rumble, Brian Robbins, David Arquette, Oliver Platt, Scott Caan, Rose McGowan, Bill Goldberg, Diamond Dallas Page, Joe Pantoliano, Martin Landau

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle