Avengers: Endgame is gonna shove this out of the big screens
Biopics are a touchy subject. Often inflated to be made interesting, they end up defeating their own purpose by essentially becoming fiction. While some artistic liberties are fine—like merging similarly functional characters to streamline a narrative, or skipping that time the protagonist had appendicitis and was on MC for a couple of days—it is especially grating when there is a blatant fictionalisation of the story.
The solution, would of course be to simply find a story that is already so outlandish and entertaining that outright fabrication would be unnecessary. Well, thank god for WWE.
And there’s a sentence I never thought I’d say (or write).
Having essentially entered the film industry with 2002’s The Scorpion King, and a string of features with The Rock, WWE Studios has continued to have a surprisingly prolific presence in Hollywood from producing and distributing films, both starring wrestlers and not, across all genres.
Who would have expected WWE to produce made up content? Shocking.
With the release of Fighting With My Family, however, WWE studios may not only have found a new niche for their films, but also the solution to boring biopics: movies about wrestlers!
Featuring the journey of Saraya-Jade Bevis (better known in the ring as WWE Superstar Paige), Fighting With My Family follows the unconventional journey of Saraya-Jade from the her family-run World Association of Wrestling in Norwich, England to the big time of WWE.
Perhaps due to having been inspired by a documentary of the same name and subject matter, the movie does more to stay simple without glamourising very much.
While at first glance the premise may sound like more WWE scripted nonsense, the grounded writing and directing of Stephen Merchant allows the movie to play out as an inspiring sports drama with strong themes of family and ambitions driving the narrative.
The film further benefits from the eclectic cast of relative newcomer Florence Pugh, Jack Lowden, Nick Frost, Lena Headey, and Vince Vaughn. Each are could be considered to be out of their typical stereotypes but brilliantly pull off their characters. Vaughn especially may be in a renaissance of himself, finding a new niche of characters that arguably suits him better.
Amazingly, Pugh’s portrayal of Paige remains consistently the star of the show across the movie, never being overshadowed by the veteran actors she’s surrounded by. Even with scenes shared with the ridiculously charismatic Dwayne Johnson (who pretty much steals the show wherever he’s cast), she remains both, the emotional anchor as well as the character of whom we want to see more.
It is truly tragic that Fighting With My Family is premiering a week before Avengers: Endgame and is sure to be steamrolled by the hype surrounding the MCU’s grand finale. With a great script, fantastic acting, and a highly enjoyable story, movies such as these deserve the same attention as tentpole blockbusters.
Fighting With My Family is out now in all theatres and should definitely be watched. So if you haven’t gotten your Endgame tickets, chill out and go get tickets for these!