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  • Instant Sam

Ready To Rumble

Heel Promoter:

Brian Robbins


Ham and Eggers:

David Arquette

Scott Caan

Oliver Platt

Joe Pantoliano

Rose McGowan

Martin Landau


Curtain Callers:

Diamond Dallas Page

Goldberg

Sting

Bam Bam Bigelow

Randy Savage

Booker T

Sid Vicious

Curt Hennig

Perry Saturn


Angle:


Two wrestling fans, after witnessing their favourite wrestler Jimmy King getting screwed out of his championship on a prime-time television taping, decide that it’s up to them to help the help him back on his and get him back on top of the mountain and regain his crown. Travelling far and wide to help their hero, and finding out about the highs and lows of the business, will they succeed in their mission to help Jimmy King sit back on his throne?


Gorilla Position:


To understand this film a little better, you need to have a basic background of the wrestling scene back in 2000. The company that is featured here, WCW, was in an intense ratings war with its rival WWF (Or WWE as it’s known now). It’s not an understatement to say that this was actually a winner takes all affair. One idiotic move by either side would ultimately  spell the demise of the losing promotion. 


At this point in time, WWF had weathered the storm of WCW’s 84 week winning streak in the ratings and had fully turned the tide in the prime time battle.  WCW, undergoing sweeping changes with its creative direction, needed an equaliser in order to turn around its ill fortunes.


Storyline:


When you are creating a promotional tool for a product, it’s a well known fact that you should probably paint said product in a positive light. The writers either didn’t get this memo, or just didn’t get the idea in general.


Our introduction to the two main characters, Sean (Scott Caan) & Gordie (David Arquette), consists of Sean bragging to kids about how they got tickets to see Jimmy King at a Nitro taping while Gordie is having a sugar hallucination about wrestling a shop keeper and Macho Man Randy Savage with the help of Jimmy King. So far, not so flattering. We also see Gordie is using his freshly ass poked finger to score a free slushy while his Dad frisks and sexually assaults Sean.


Homoerotic undertones, as well as not so well veiled homophobia feature heavily in this film, which again is not to flattering of the wrestling community they are trying to sell to people. 

The guys’ personality is further explored by their jobs as sewage workers, and their love for Jimmy King. That really is it, that’s all that happens for about 10 minutes. To say that these guys make Beavis and Butthead look like Harvard candidates would be an understatement.


There is one moment when they are trying to locate Jimmy King when they look King’s dad right in the eye and tell him that that he died in a plane crash. That is the base level of intelligence this film offers. 


We don’t really ever learn much about Sean’s background except that his dad died and left him a shit cleaning truck and business. That and he likes girls, wrestling and worships Jimmy King. Gordie we learn that he comes from a weird family of cops, and the father wants him to become a cop. He REALLY want him to become a cop. His dad really hates wrestling too. Gordie, like Sean, likes girls, wrestling and worships Jimmy King.


It should also be noted at this point that the film lacks the ability to write anything decent with regards to women. We have a Farting Nun Choir, stuck up frygirls, swearing pervy grandma, wrestling fan girls (who are apparently too much like one of the guys, so would be totally gay to get with) and eye candy in the form of the Nitro Girls. So you can now add misogyny to the bingo card of selling points.


The feature has a basic three act set up, which is devoid of any actual good comedy. There are some moments that raise a small smile, but it does feel like the results of someone reading The Idiots Guide to Sports Comedy and making a film.


The three acts can be described as follows:


Act 1.

· Boys see their idol get screwed out of his title and fired thanks to an evil promoter (Titus Sinclair) and Diamond Dallas Page

· Boys, after crashing their septic truck, decide that this is a sign that they must help Jimmy King get back his title and his job

· Boys hitchhike with farting nuns and teach them Running with the Devil by Van Halen

· Boys enlist another King fan who, using the power of the internet, get Jimmy King’s personal details.

· Boys meet King’s family and completely ignore the fact that he is a deadbeat who screwed over his family. His son is a mess with shit teeth, he gave his estranged wife crabs, and he stole his parents’ motorhome

· Boys finally Find King (who is drunk, broke and dressed as a woman) in the stolen motorhome and totally mark out in front of him

· Boys convince drunk King to go to New York to get back his title and take on DDP and Sinclair

· Boys perv over Nitro Girls and somehow don’t get arrested

· King somehow gets a Belt plus a Million Dollars Vs. his career cage match after attacking DDP and Sinclair. The match is scheduled to happen in Las Vegas in four weeks


Act 2.

· Gordie gets with Nitro Girl Sasha (Rose McGowan), and loses his virginity to her by wrestling her (breasts are referred to here as foreign objects here)

· Boys try to enlist Goldberg to help King, he tells them to piss off

· Boys find the trainer Sal Bandini, who likes to hurt his trainees, and gets him to take on King

· Bandini is attacked by Perry Saturn and Sid Vicious, thanks to Sasha on the orders of Big Bad Sinclair

· Bandini advises King and co to get out of the city, after giving him his final lesson from his hospital bed

· Gordie dumps Sasha for getting Sal beaten up

· King takes a detour while leaving New York to try and make things right with his family

· Upon Returning to the Boy's hometown, Gordie’s dad takes his son back to make him take a test to become a cop

· Sean tries to round up a “Posse” to help King in his Match with DDP. All prospective candidates make The Shockmaster look good.

· Sean shuns the stuck up fry girl he desperately wanted in the first act, to hook up with the wrestling fan girl who he earlier dismissed as like one of the guys, and therefore would be gay to get with. It’s amazing how quickly girls drop their pants for a t-shirt.

· They make their way to Vegas


Act 3.

· Big Bad Sinclair tries to threaten Sting into helping him beat Jimmy King

· The fight becomes triple cage match

· King is outnumbered and woefully underprepared. Thankfully, Gordie makes a (not so) shock return to help King along with some WCW locker room good guys.

· Gordie has given himself a cop wrestling persona, which helps his father finally accept that Gordie wants to become a wrestler. Really, that’s all it took

· Nitro Girl Sasha gets hits in the face with a ladder

· DDP gets beaten up by King

· Jimmy King get beaten up by DDP

· King gets knocked off the top cage. Luckily, Sting knocks DDP off the top cage too

· A random joke about loving other men get the boys sucker punched by Sting

· King defeats DDP much to everyones delight

· Gordie beats off stiff completion from Goldberg to become the King’s new partner, idiot Sean becomes their manager

· They go back to the store in the beginning of the film to assault the store clerk

· They drive off in a stretch hummer into the sunset with Nitro girls in the front and Sal in the pool at the back.

· Credits and a montage of podshots 


I really do wish that there was more to this film than that, but the film really does lack anything that resembles a decent or relatable script.  The film was signed, filmed and released in 10 months. Which means that the writers involved would’ve been under some huge time pressure, and it really does show. Prime example being the situation with Nitro girl Sasha. She’s already the Head Nitro Girl, but she honeytraps the guys as she’s been promised the Head Nitro Girl spot. Why make sense when you’ve got tits to shake?


The film seemed to focus on people getting hit in the nuts, events that involve literal shit, sexism, homophobia and not showing wrestling in a positive light. Even Jimmy King’s redemption from drunken, family abandoning scumbag to someone with some decency is done too quickly for it to really register. And the way that Sean and Gordie worship him is pretty sad, almost childlike. 


As mentioned before, the bar here in regard to the depiction of wrestling fans is pretty damn low. The men as seen as childish idiots and the girls were deemed unattractive because they like wrestling. Why try to write a positive portrayal of wrestling fans when you can write about farting nuns singing Van Halen?


Did it deserve the Finger Poke of Doom?


OH HELL YEAH! 


This film is damn insulting in every way possible. 


The most confusing thing about all of this is that this was meant to help boost WCW’s reputation, yet it pandered to every negative stereotype of wrestling fans and appeared to wear them on its chest like badges of honour. It seemed like no one involved really cared about the reputation of the business and would rather sell out fans for a few cheap laughs. 


The paper thin plot is only just about veiled the lack luster writing and bad direction that this film suffered from. Misogyny and homophobic jokes run amok and fans were portrayed as morons who couldn’t distinguish between reality and a work, they even based the two main characters from a southern state to really nail the point home. Every comedy cliché is botched, and every wrong doing is okayed thanks to a quick moral wrap up.


Just under a year after this movie was released WCW was purchased and disbanded by WWF. Given that this film was given the thumbs up by WCW, I’m not surprised that this was the outcome. By this point fans of the product had already had their intelligence insulted by endless gimmick matches and dodgy finishes, none more insulting then having the top championship belt awarded to one of the actors of this film. I think being portrayed as morons in a company approved shit show, and the events in relation to said shit show, may have been the drop of water that broke the dam. 


The one thing this film proves is that it’s never a wise idea to turn heel on your fans!