Who says the WWE can’t make movies? They can, they just can’t seem to make bankable ones. And when they back movies with a premise like this one, it is sometimes painfully obvious why that is.
Mark Feurstein, Melona Hardin, Wendie Malick and the WWE’s “Big Show” Paul Wight star in Knucklehead (Samuel Goldwyn/WWE Films) about a con-artist and boxing trainer (Feurstein) who creates a get-rich scheme by convincing a secluded giant named Walter Crunk (“Big Show”) to travel across the country entering fighting competitions in order to get money for Walter’s orphanage, accompanied by the church’s assigned chaperone (Hardin).
Knucklehead is now available to buy on Blu-ray (and has been since February in fact)- but we have just been provided a copy for review. Read on to see what we thought…
It is no wonder the WWE is occasionally accused of undervaluing, or even ridiculing their stable of stars when you consider the potential there is for successful WWE films, and the reality of the substandard fare they are currently producing. At the minute, we get films like Knucklehead, a comedy which pits Big Show as a big doofus, rather than films that value and utilise the wrestler’s established character to sell the concept. We should be seeing Rey Mysterio as a superhero, Kane in a succession of horror films, The Undertaker leading a Western (or even better a Supernatural Western). Even putting John Cena in more action movies is comparatively far better than this wild purposeful miscasting.
I mean come on, they take Triple H, a character almost ideally suited to playing Conan The Barbarian or Sabretooth in an X-Men spin-off, and who already shocked me with how good he was in Blade: Trinity and put him in a film like this…
And then it is expected to make any money! The WWE need to seriously re-evaluate their approach to movies: they are an undisputed market leader in the entertainment industry- a corporation that is the envy of most of the world- and yet they are failing to take advantage of another market that should be well within their grasp and certainly falls within the remit of their collective expertise.
Where are the WWE blockbusters? Come on Mr McMahon, put that ample brain and mouth of yours behind a reinvigorated film stable, and take advantage of your wrestlers’ talents in the positive, rather than negative connotation of that phrase.
Anyway, back on to Knucklehead. This is obviously a half-baked attempt to remake Kingpin, with a loveable and naive moron tricked into using his potential for sporting prowess for the financial gain of a con-man older brother sort of figure. The plots in fact are eerily similar- though Knucklehead dispenses with King Pin’s vastly superior eye for comedy and goes instead with the idea that there is nothing funnier than seeing a giant man in his underpants banging his head on things all the time. Shakespearean tragi-comedy this certainly ain’t!
If the flagrantly heartless depiction of mental illness isn’t enough, there are enough fart jokes here to sink a Porkies sequel, and sensible things like character development, narrative progression and resolved tensions are blown away by the methane cloud. Plus, the fart jokes are necessarily half-arsed as well, because Knucklehead consciously attempts to be a fuzzy family film at the same time as being somewhat crass- so what we end up with is a load of fart jokes aimed at kids. Jesus.
But of course it was going to be an embarrassment: firstly it’s a WWE feature film, and we know that track record already. And secondly it features The Big Show as a dribbling idiot, and everyone knows that only skilled actors like Sean Penn and Jamie Foxx should be entrusted to bring mentally ill characters to screen otherwise its woefully tasteless.
- Knucklehead Moments: Bloopers & Beyond
- Welcome To The Show
- Bearly Surviving
- Commentary Track
- Photo Gallery
Knucklehead is available now on Blu-ray.