Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Review Fighting with My Family (2019)

#FightingWithMyFamily (2019): 6/10

Fighting With My Family dramatises the true story of Saraya Bevis aka WWE’s Paige, a girl from a wrestling family and modest background whose early life consists of entertaining the local people of Norwich in the family-run wrestling business World Association of Wrestling along with dad Ricky (Nick Frost, ‘Shaun Of The Dead’), mum Julia (Lena Headey, ‘Game Of Thrones’), and brother Zak (Jack Lowden, ‘Dunkirk’).

Merchant’s collaborations with Ricky Gervais such as ‘The Office’ and ‘Extras’ were nothing short of brilliant; and yet, for the most part, Fighting With My Family feels puzzlingly underwhelming. Perhaps it’s down to the rather formulaic story and overall plot, as Saraya gets her shot at the WWE and struggles on a gruelling NXT training programme with next-to-no support around her. This is a dramatisation of true events, so it was inevitable that the story would take this route in one form or another.

The film is still an enjoyable and thought-provoking watch though, from intriguing developments at home as Saraya’s brother Zak tries to cope with his rejection from the WWE, to inspirational support given to local kids by Zak down at the World Association of Wrestling base. For wrestling fans, there are sequences of real grappling entertainment from both WAW and WWE events, and we get a taster of a full-blown “Rock” monologue which will deliver more than a thrill for avid WWE fans of the “Attitude” era. And of course, it’s Stephen Merchant, so there are plenty of laughs to be had, in particular from funny man Nick Frost.

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