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Friday, April 7, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 128

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Wrestling film offers little substance


Ready to Rumble

Starring: David Arquette, Scott Caan, Oliver Platt
Rated: PG-13
Warner Bros.

Grade: D+


By Rattaya Nimibutr
Daily Cougar Staff

The only thing shielding this film from becoming an "F" is that it contains some relatively humorous moments. That, however, is the only redeeming quality of a film that drags like a crossdresser.

It is fun at times, but the overall sorry presentation keeps it from being a roll-on-the-floor comedy.


Sasha (Rose McGowan) and Gordie (David Arquette) get cozy in the new film Ready to Rumble, in theaters today.

Sam Emerson/Warner Bros. Pictures

Ready to Rumble stars David Arquette, the Scream trilogy veteran, and Scott Caan (Varsity Blues), as two buddies with dead-end jobs in the small town of Lusk, Wyoming.

The only thing that matters to them is the colorful world of pro wrestling. Their dreams come true after scoring tickets to see their idol, Jimmy King (Oliver Platt), wrestle Diamond Dallas Page at WCW Monday Nitro.

When the shocking end of the match shows King will no longer retain his crown, King flees from the spotlight in shame. The two knuckleheads then decide to hunt down their hero and help him become a champion again.

Ready to Rumble contains all the glory of wrestling mania and many off-the-wall jokes and scenes. The film focuses on the widespread phenomenon of pro wrestling, featuring The Macho Man, Sting, Goldberg, Disco Inferno and many others.

The film also stars Rose McGowen (Jawbreaker) as the leader of the Nitro Girls, whose dance routines conquer the wrestling ring in between matches. Martin Landau lends his hand, as wrestling coach Sal Bandini, who helps King get back on his feet.

But where exactly does this film go wrong? The anticipation builds for the final action scene, where King fights in a three-cage setup against Diamond Dallas Page to reclaim his crown. Once you're there, the film rides on a highly-energized level, but it simply takes too long to reach that point.

While humorous stunts and bizarre jokes are present, it's entirely too painful a process to get to the finale. Director Brian Robbins (Varsity Blues) gets a few isolated scenes that work, but they aren't enough to make the film decent.

Arquette and Caan play off each other as well as they can, while Platt (Three To Tango) portrays the overly dramatic and bitter King just fine. McGowen plays her stereotypical daring girl role and fits the part well.

Ready To Rumble is about as far separated from a "chick flick" as possible, and will most likely draw male wrestling fans to the box office. But even die-hard body-slam fans will probably walk away from this film disappointed.
 

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