Ready to Rumble is a movie of pure absurdity and real toilet humor. Like a mixture of a 1-800-CALL-ATT commercial and Monday Night Nitro, the film was fast-paced with no story line at all.
David Arquette and Scott Caan witness their favorite wrestler, and idol, have his career ended on Monday Night Nitro. After the show they end up crashing their truck full of raw sewage. Obviously, this is a sign from God telling them they must find their hero Jimmy King, played by Oliver Platt, and return him to his status as Heavyweight Champion of the World. The only problem is that they are in Wyoming and King is in Atlanta. So they hitchhike across the country with some nuns.
When they finally find King he is a miserable, fat alcoholic who has no desire to rejoin the world of wrestling. Somehow his two biggest fans convince him that there is a chance he can revive his career, so he begins to climb his way back to the top of the wrestling world. Unfortunately, the theme to Rocky was never played, but the similarities could be seen — except for the fact that Oliver Platt does not resemble a wrestler in any way. That’s OK, though, because everyone knows that wrestling is fake. No matter what happens, Arquette and Caan will stop at nothing in their quest to restore King to his throne.
Yes, David Arquette’s humor is sometimes funny in his 30-second commercials; it’s a little hard to take after an hour and a half. The reason he was so successful in the Scream films was that he acted like a normal human being. In Ready to Rumble he never stops going crazy for a second. Even when he finds true love with one of the Nitro Girls, Rose McGowan, he never shows any emotion, just hysterical screaming. The high point of the film was probably his most tranquil moment, when he and Caan duet with some nuns to Van Halen’s “Runnin’ With the Devil.”
Overall the film never really gets going. It’s just fast-paced, unintelligent humor. The thing that made films like Kingpin and There’s Something About Mary so funny was that you could actually relate to the characters in the film. The characters were developed as the film progressed, and the viewer could feel for them as they faced adversity and had to keep fighting to win the girl or the bowling championship in Las Vegas. Arquette and Caan weren’t fighting for anything; they were just trying to get a life.
Another reason those films worked was that they had some great actors and actresses. David Arquette, Scott Caan and Rose McGowan are not going to become the next Ben Stiller, Woody Harrelson and Cameron Diaz. Arquette just acts retarded. And McGowan showed no acting ability at all. Perhaps her husband Marilyn Manson would have made a better Nitro girl; at least that would have been more humorous.
There were some funny points in the film, but most of the jokes are purely from the gutter. Some more intelligent humor and better actors could have made an interesting film, but unfortunately this film was only good for a few chuckles and some disgusting sight gags. This film is purely for light-hearted fun and should not be taken seriously in any way. In that respect, it really represents professional wrestling.