Fighting with my Family: A Champion Feature

This film tells the real-life story of Divas Champion Paige, her family and their rise to international fame. Paige and her family are obsessed with wrestling and are convinced that they will all one day be stars. When an opportunity comes along to be part of the WWE, Paige gets the tap, but her brother Zak does not. Drama unfolds as Zak battles his jealousy, and Paige must find her focus if she is ever to achieve her dream of becoming a star.

I was highly dubious going into this film, as I felt confident that a wrestling film starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Vince Vaughn and Nick Frost was going to be crude, ill-thought through and overall pretty forgettable. However, I am willing to admit when I am wrong and oh boy was I wrong. This film had so many great moments, which was supported by an inspiring and entertaining set of circumstances.

The comedy was a real high point for the movie. The film did well not to fall into clichés or slapstick routines, instead, the comedic moments were extremely clever. The flick had a very dry sense of humour; great lines delivered with deadpan expressions made them feel natural rather than forced. This allowed the excellent writing to speak for itself rather than being overshadowed by over the top performances.

Vince Vaughn was particularly excellent throughout the feature which is something I never thought I would hear myself say. His character was the perfect blend of caring mentor and witty critic. Despite turning down Zak for a mentorship his character never appeared cruel, he merely had the job of turning away someone who despite wanting it, would never be able to make it in the world of WWE. While we sympathised with Zak, this did not come at the cost of disliking Vaughn’s character, which is a tricky wave to ride for any film.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was present throughout the film, but rather than acting as a mentor or a central character; he was more like a fairy godmother who shared the occasional nugget of wisdom only to poof away in a cloud of pink dust. His presence was overall unnecessary, but for wrestling novices like myself, he was the link between Hollywood and the world of WWE. He acted as a face for the franchise as well as the film.

The cherry on top of the film was the home footage played during the credits, where we got to see the real Paige and her family interacting. It was shocking to see just how similar the characters were to their real-life counterparts, both physically and emotionally. A short interview was played between the mother and father where they discussed the way they met and how they discovered wrestling. This dialogue was transplanted directly into the film and played out by the on-screen actors. It was surprising and very touching how genuine these moments were.