You Cannot Kill David Arquette

I may have forgotten about 2000’s buddy comedy Ready to Rumble, starring David Arquette and Scott Cann, but it turns out wrestling fans neither forgive or forget.

In an attempt to promote Ready to Rumble, a rambunctious Arquette “competed” for the title of WCW World Heavyweight Champion and won.  Labeled as a publicity stunt that mocked the sport, the burden has weighed heavily on David Arquette, who happens to be a big fan of wrestling.  The actor endures additional humiliation when he feels blackballed by Hollywood, and labeled as strange and unpredictable.  You Cannot Kill David Arquette features the actor attempting to clear his name as a performer by finding forgiveness in the world of professional wrestling.

You Cannot Kill David Arquette is very entertaining, but is often modelled like an unaired reality television show.  That approach can occasionally work but even for me, someone who considers themselves a reality TV connoisseur, some interviews seemed too rehearsed.  We believe these are genuine conversations about Arquette’s career change and his psychological state, but the film’s subjects appear to have been staged and put on the spot to have these chats.  If that’s not the case, then I owe directors David Darg and Price James an apology.  But if I’m right, I encourage these filmmakers to observe more of their guilty pleasure influences.

Because this feels like a condensed season of TV, the documentary doesn’t cut too deep in terms of the story’s intimate content.  We learn a little bit about some Arquette family history and David’s current struggle as an actor, and what we do learn is an interesting sneak peek.  We also get a brief insight into how the media can make-or-break a celebrity’s ambition.  But the doc passes up personal connections to be a real-life underdog story; which it achieves with crowd-pleasing clichés and David Arquette’s natural charisma.  It’s a surreal knockout.  We cheer and laugh along, and then kind of feel guilty for rubbernecking while Arquette fights and risks his mental health.  Wrestling matches that incorporate sketchier qualities, like an early backyard fight and then a brutal death match later on, are prime examples of the audience being torn on the whole endeavour.

But, despite its degree of uncertainty, You Cannot Kill David Arquette is still a pretty good time and proof that the actor needs a much deserved resurgence – either on the screen or in the ring.


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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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