Ready to Rumble [2000/I]

Gordy (David Arquette of the Scream movies) and Sean (Scott Caan of Varsity Blues) are rabid fans of professional wrestling--in particular, white trash champion Jimmy King (Oliver Platt, Funny Bones, Flatliners). But the show's producer Titus Sinclair (Joe Pantoliano, The Matrix) decides it's time for King to lose his crown and allows Diamond Dallas Page (playing himself) and assorted cronies to tromp all over the fallen King. Crestfallen, Gordy and Sean track King down to convince him to take another shot at the big time. Although in the process they discover that King may not be the man they thought he was, their faith never falters. With the training assistance of an old-school wrestler (Martin Landau), they get King back into the ring to face the triple steel cage. Ready to Rumble is clearly aimed at wrestling fans, who will doubtless enjoy numerous professional wrestlers playing themselves, including Goldberg and Sting, as well as the scantily clad Nitro Girls. The movie isn't exactly Shakespeare, but it has a raffish, affable charm. The jokes stick to the basics, such as people being kicked in the groin and nuns singing Van Halen's "Running with the Devil" with their crystalline soprano voices. And what's wrong with that? As a comedy team, Arquette and Caan aren't Abbott and Costello--they're not even Bill and Ted--but they give it their all and you may find them surprisingly engaging. --Bret Fetzer

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