Fighting with My Family review
For a lot of kids and even adults, wrestling, especially WWE wrestling is the closest thing to watching real life superheroes and titans clashing. Sure, we all know it's a show and the callouts and insults are a part of it, but the smack downs and falls make everything look real and given the physique of the wrestlers, they still put in a lot of time to play the part and give us a circus of sweat and bruises. I don't follow it as much as I did as a child, but I have a lot of respect for the sport and show.
Most of us know Andre the Giant, Macho Man Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, Triple H, Big Show, John Cena, and the Rock. These are guys who've managed to create memorable characters that are almost as big as comic book heroes. But it's interesting to see what made them want to be wrestlers and how they managed to beat out other hopefuls. One such story not only focuses on the youngest woman to enter the WWE, but her family who are all die hard wrestling fans. That story is portrayed in Fighting with My Family.
In the early 2010s, two English amateur wrestlers Rick (played by Nick Frost) and Julia (played by Lena Headey) and their children Zak (played by Jack Lowden) and Saraya (Played by Florence Pugh) not only love the sport, but even showcase their own matches and organize an after school practice. They also have dreams of having Zak and Saraya becoming a part of the WWE circuit with constant tapes sent in. One day when a SmackDown event is happening in London, they get a tryout with many hopefuls with WWE trainer Hutch Morgan (played by Vince Vaughn). Saraya, now gping by Paige, is selected, but her brother isn't.
Paige flies to Florida for training camp, where she sticks out like a sore thumb, due to her looks and small frame. She also feels self-conscience as the other women selected look like super models. She's having trouble adapting to the WWE standards and training, and to top it off, still feels bad that her brother wasn't taken. Zac himself turns to alcohol and her parents start to make merchandise of their daughter's upcoming success. With a lot at her and moving really fast, she starts to understand that perhaps, wrestling is much more real then anticipated.
Fighting with My Family does take a lot from other sports movies like the underdog plot, but as far as I'm concerned, I'm okay with that as this is really good. This movie made me realize that not only are a lot of women sports not focused on enough, but even more so in the WWE. Paige's story is not only inspiring, but the family she comes from is a lot of fun. The family's time needed to be shown in order to come out a little different from other sport movies.
I really want to know what kind of training Florence Pugh went through, as I thought she was great. You really feel for her and her dilemma that she wants to be famous, but is afraid if she moves forward, then her family will be left behind. We all want to help our families, but it's understandable that things will get in the way as one climbs up the ladder. What's really going to help this movie's age is her family, who is one of the most unique families on film. They are trashy and have few manners, but they all care for each other and seems to want to help other kids that want that confidence. .
One of the weaker points of the movie is Vince Vaughn. He's does fine in his part, but even with his no nonsense attitude, I still mostly saw him and not a character. I thought it was because of the actor, but I realized he was phenomenal in Hacksaw Ridge. Another problem is the pacing of the end which does show her progression after training, but it felt rushed compared to the slower first half. Perhaps there's more to the movie that was cut, but I think a little more time could have shown Paige the dilemma of suddenly being a star.
I'll give this four and a half pictures of the real Paige out of five. Something tells me that a lot of people, especially families, are going to like Fighting with My Family. Even if some accuse the movie as an ad for WWE, then so be it; it's like complaining that the use of the NFL in a biopic makes it an advertisement. It's a slam and worth watching.