By Trina Boice
Republished with permission from The Movie Review Mom.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Based on the true story of Raya Knight (also known as “Paige”) who became the youngest World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Divas’ Champion in history, this movie combines an underdog sports story with humor and emotion. Raya Knight’s popularity and influence helped usher in the “women’s revolution” in professional wrestling.
Comedian/writer/director Stephen Merchant wrote a funny, real, and endearing biopic. It’s a gentle introduction into the world of professional wrestling but one that also honors the passionate fans. You pretty much know going into it how the story is going to end, so I was surprised to get teary-eyed in the end.
Even if you’re not a professional wrestling fan, you can still appreciate the journey of persistence and reaching for your dream. It’s moderately family-friendly entertainment and will make for a fun family movie night once it’s out on DVD. It’s currently in theaters.
IS IT ANY GOOD? B
Florence Pugh gives a knock-out performance as Paige and Nick Frost is hilarious as her father, Ricky Knight. The non-traditional family dynamic is very sweet. The brother/sister relationship is very touching and gives the movie its emotional depth. You get to see video clips of the real people at the end of the movie. The Knight family actually has another daughter who is not a wrestler. She’s currently a dentist and wasn’t featured in the movie.
The movie starts with footage of “The Rock” in his fighting days. If you’re a fan of Dwayne Johnson, you’ll get a kick out of his speech to Paige and Zak. He doesn’t get a lot of screen time, despite the movie poster that makes it look like he stars in the film, but his role is important in motivating character development. There’s also footage of some of the other great wrestlers through the years.
The thick British accents might make it difficult for Americans to understand some of the dialogue. British actress Lena Headey had a hard time with that ring stuck in her lip and her mouth was always making weird expressions. The ending felt a bit rushed, but the movie was all about the journey anyway.
IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS? (PG-13)
Some profanity and crude language.
A young man tosses drugs into a garbage bin and an older woman sees it and retrieves it for herself.
A blind teenage boy flips the bird.
Talk of a boy getting aroused.
A man throws a heavy ball at another man’s genitals.
A guy and girl have a baby out of wedlock.