Review: Fighting with My Family (2019 Sundance Film Festival)

Title: Fighting with My Family
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Stephen Merchant
Starring: Florence Pugh, Lena Headey, Nick Frost
Runtime: 1 hr 48 mins

What It Is: Young professional wrestlers (and siblings) Saraya (Pugh) and Zak (Jack Lowden) Knight have been training in their families school/federation since they were very young. When they receive a call from WWE scout Hutch (Vince Vaughn) to try out it’s a dream come true. When Saraya, now known by her new ring name Paige (yes, from Charmed) is invited to the WWE’s NXT developmental brand it is now an actuality. But what happens when Zak doesn’t exactly impress the WWE?

What We Think: It takes some storytelling shortcuts. That I know for sure. What I also know is this is a crowd-pleaser. A rousing loud and funny film that reaches the most basic of audiences. Even if you aren’t a WWE fan, and for the record I am, this will have you laughing and rooting for Paige the whole way through. Florence Pugh is fantastic and charismatic in the lead role and Headey and Frost are very funny as her parents. Did they shoehorn in The Rock? Sure but it’ll sell tickets. Merchant is very obvious in his direction. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel there. Does he need to here though?

Our Grade: B+, It’s a sports movie that does sports movie things. Pugh previous performance in Lady Macbeth was likewise praised here. It hits all the tropes and that’s one of the things that hold it back. It is quite funny though, given the talent here that shouldn’t be a surprise. I’d recommend everyone check this out WWE Film has finally made a good film…besides Oculus. Except this one is ABOUT a superstar of there’s and doesn’t star one. Who ACTUALLY thinks that is a good idea?

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