Jungle
Fighting With My Family

Fighting With My Family

Movie
Director(s): 
Genre: 
In Theatres: 
Feb 22, 2019
Grade:
A-
Running Time: 
108 minutes

The best stories at their core are able to connect on a simplistic level where it doesn’t necessarily matter what the subject is about as long as it taps into something familiar. Fighting With My Family may be a wrestling movie, but at its core it’s a movie about struggle and perseverance. It’s something we can all connect with, even if you’re not a huge wrestling fan like myself. Following the beginnings of wrestler Paige’s career, the film takes audiences through the highs and lows of what it takes to become a WWE legend.

 

Saraya Bevis (Florence Pugh) started wrestling at the age of 13 under the World Association of Wrestling run by her parents, wrestlers Rowdy Ricky Knight (Nick Frost) and Sweet Saraya (Lena Headey). Her older brother wrestles as well under the stage name Zak Zodiac (Jack Lowden). Together, Saraya and Zac dream of becoming WWE wrestlers, and soon find themselves with the opportunities of a lifetime when they are invited to tryouts. But tensions start to arise when Saraya is chosen to move on to the next round while Zac is dropped. As the pressure mounts and things only become more difficult, Saraya must decide whether or not she truly has the talent necessary to work with the WWE.

 

Fighting With My Family is the perfect blend of comedy and drama that will have you laughing one minute and on the verge of tears the next. Even though the story is about Paige, it’s really about her whole family. Nick Frost and Lena Headey are brilliantly hilarious as her parents. They live and breathe wrestling, which leads to some comical situations when they’re asked to “act normal” around other people. Florence Fugh is fantastic as Paige, but I felt that it was Jack Lowden who stole the show as her brother. Here’s this kid who has been wrestling his entire life where his dream has been to get into the WWE, only to then be cut by them and be told that he’s reach the end of the line. The film does an excellent job at capturing just how devastating it would be to receive that news, and Lowden’s performance is gut wrenching. The relationship between him and his sister is definitely the most interesting aspect of the film.

 

Still, if you’re a fan of the sport you’ll no doubt love everything about Fighting With My Family even more. Vince Vaughn plays Hutch Morgan, the recruiting and training manager in charge of picking who the WWE does and does not sign. As much of a hardass he tends to be, Vaughn is perfect in the role, channeling his inner R. Lee Ermey to get these WWE hopefuls into prime wrestling shape. There are also a couple of cameo appearances by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson playing himself, and of course they’re all absolutely on point. He and his production company, Seven Bucks Productions, helped make the film so it’s not surprising he makes an appearance. Thankfully he doesn’t make the film about himself and lets Paige’s story unfold naturally so when he shows up it actually makes sense and enhances the film.

 

Whether you’re a fan of wrestling or not, Fighting With My Family is a film worth watching. It’s both a family drama and comedy that, like wrestling, will keep you entertained with its larger than life story. Fighting With My Family is an empowering story that will not only make you laugh but captivate you with its heartfelt message.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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