Bigger is an abysmal biopic about the Weider brothers, Joe and Ben, which is unfortunate because the world of fitness is due for an engrossing movie. Not a flabby flick like this.
The Canadian siblings faced discrimination and poverty at a young age, which led them to their interest in fitness. Ben focused more on the business side of their career, while workaholic Joe grew up to be the face of their empire. It’s arguable about what their biggest accomplishment was, but Joe’s most mainstream achievement was founding the Mr. Olympia competition and the iconic magazine Muscle & Fitness. These achievements, along with others, are treated more as “movie checkpoints” than career milestones in Bigger – a major disappointment considering the audience can still acknowledge how much effort it took for these men to establish themselves in an industry that was practically nonexistent for their time.
Bigger was directed by George Gallo, a past contributor to action comedies (Bad Boys, Midnight Run, Code Name: The Cleaner) and Eddie Griffin’s worst movies (Double Take, DysFunktional Family). An issue that keeps surfacing in Bigger is Gallo’s inability to grasp time and chemistry. The most epitomizing sequences are the ones featuring Joe’s love interests (Victoria Justice and Julianne Hough, two actors who deserve better than this). With cheap montages set to misplaced music, Gallo glosses over years worth of relationships as if they had no influence on Joe – the women are only used to shed minor details on the entrepreneur’s career. And even when Gallo decides to dive deeper into the past to represent the story’s present, the audience still gets shortchanged due to hackneyed dialogue and unbearably hokey performances (including embarrassing turns by Steve Guttenberg, Tom Arnold, Robert Forster, and leading man Tyler Hoechlin).
With tacky direction and a frustrating narrative that resembles a Wikipedia page more than a competent script, I finished Bigger having barely learned the broad strokes of an otherwise seemingly interesting story.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie