Movie Review: Fighting With My Family

Ever wondered what it takes to be a pro wrestler? I have. If you haven’t, they you can still get a good introduction to the world of professional wrestling, courtesy of the Knight family. Can this eccentric family of wrestlers win your hearts over and make you a fan of wrestling? Find out in this review of Fighting With My Family.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT:

A tight-knit British family of wrestler. By family, I mean everyone from the parents to the kids. This isn’t your typical family. Dad and mom are wrestlers and so are their two kids, Zak and Saraya. Zak is the local rising star. He has high aspirations of reaching the WWE.

His younger sister Saraya, just wants to be along for the ride and be a team player in her brother’s pursuit of a career with WWE. It’s Saraya that gets the attention of the WWE, not Zak. Will her unexpected opportunity bring animosity with her brother? Will it tear the family apart? Just a couple of the questions in the plot of the movie.

SCRIPT AND STORY:

The movie is based on a true story of Saraya Bevis aka WWE’s Paige. It’s something to keep in mind as the movie seems like it’s just a movie with big and loud characters. I was aware of the story of Saraya to a certain extent, but the movie gave me a much better understanding where she came from. Thanks to the smart and fun script from writer and director Stephen Merchant.

I liked how the first half of the movie really focused on Saraya’s family and their daily lives as wrestlers. It grounded the story and characters and makes them very likeable. The next act involves Saraya at the WWE training center. Majority of the scenes depicting her WWE training involve her literally training and being bullied by the “model” looking WWE trainees.

Marchant could have showcased her life outside of the ring and adjustment to America. Just a few scenes outside of the training would have helped. Saraya is depicted as introverted and someone with a fiery demeanor, but also timid. The first act introduced us to a whole other side of her. One that’s jubilant and outgoing. Just a notable change, but was it purely based on her new setting and atmosphere?

HOW DID THE ACTORS DO:

Florence Pugh is a rising young actress. I remember just seeing her in the Liam Neeson movie The Commuter recently, so she’s starting to become a familiar face. I like this choice for her to play Paige. Even though she doesn’t necessarily resemble Paige, she is British though and does a nice job character wise, plus the in-ring work. Interesting casting choice nonetheless.

Quietly Pugh is surrounded by a strong supporting British cast that includes Lena Headey, Jack Lowden and Nick Frost. Accomplished British actors that work great with each other in this film.

How did Vince Vaughn end up in this movie? It’s not a movie I’d expect him in. Vaughn takes on the role of fictional the WWE trainer Hutch. He’s not quite a drill sergeant you’d expect a wrestling trainer to be, but he sure does bring a lot of humor. Pleasant surprise on all fronts.

WAS IT ENTERTAINING:

I really enjoyed it. It’s very entertaining and not only for wrestling fans. The family dynamic is what makes the story endearing. They might be wacky, but they sure are supportive and loving of each other. It’s that sort of authenticity that makes the Knight’s relatable and enjoyable to watch. Then there is Vince Vaughn being Vince Vaughn and laying on the extra comedic sauce.

I enjoyed the British humor. Feels a lot more like an British movie in the first half, then turns more Americanized in the second part. Compelling dynamic.

SHOULD YOU SEE IT:

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a produced here and appears in the film. If The Rock gives his approval and makes an appearance, then you know it’s legitimate. The story of Saraya and Paige is fascinating. Why do I seperate the same person? Because the Saraya story is a coming-of-age tale of a wide-eyed fan and wrestler rising to achieve her dream. The story of Paige is of the girl who reaches her dream.

The movie ends on a high note, but it would have helped to get a more defined look at Paige and a follow-up to her story. We don’t get much of that.

Non-wrestling fans can certainly find enjoyment in this film. It’s fun, high energy and cool. This is a fantastic made-for-movie story. You do get an insight into the life of a wrestler on the small and big stage. Even if that world doesn’t interest you, the movie will help you gain respect for it. Ultimately don’t be surprised if you find yourself cheering Paige!

GENRE: Biography, Comedy, Drama

RATING: PG-13

RUNTIME: 1 hr 48 min

RELEASE DATE: February 22, 2019

‘FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY’ Score: 80%

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