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Rumble Review : Familiar but fun family flick

Imagine a world where people’s favorite activity is to watch giant monsters go toe-to-toe in an even larger wrestling ring?

Winnie (Geraldine Viswanathan) and Steve (Will Arnett) in RUMBLE from Paramount Animation. Photo Credit: Paramount Animation.

Are you ready to Rumble? I just had to…I am sorry. But in all seriousness, are you ready for Paramount to release their new animated collaboration with WWE Studios? These two studios have just what you need during the holiday season. This new action-packed thrill ride provides plenty of fun for the whole family. What a fun little present just in time for the holidays?

But what is Rumble all about? Imagine a world where people’s favorite activity is to watch giant monsters go toe-to-toe in an even larger wrestling ring? As a long time fan of pro wrestling, I was excited to see what they did with this fun premise. There are plenty of crazy monsters with entertaining moves to put on a show. But this film packs in some character work as well. We have Winnie, a young woman who dreams of being a monster trainer like her father. When her family’s legacy is betrayed by their last monster athlete, Tentacular (voiced with plenty of delight by Terry Crews), she must find a new monster to save their legacy, her dream, and her town. Who could it be? She finds Will Arnett’s Steve who runs from his past right into throne fights for money. He would rather be dancing than putting up a fight. 

Sounds fun, right? There is a lot of delight to be had along the way but that does not mean Hamish Grieve’s film shies away from tropes. The film leans into many sports’ movie tropes including this underdog story. The plot is quite predictable as we know who is going to end up on top in the end. But is that necessarily a bad thing? This is a sweet and earnest film that wants to please its audience and it certainly delivers. Just don’t expect twists and turns. There are some fun takes though on some tropes like having a dancing monster take it to the biggest baddest monsters around. There is some fun to be had and it (mostly) avoids low brow gags (one tattoo one runs way too long throughout the film). The most fun aspect of the film really must be the fun action. But what should you expect? This film does guarantee big monster action…and it delivers!

But what brings the film to life? This lively and committed cast. Geraldine Viswanathan continues to show that she is a fun and vibrant personality who can bring plenty of joy and earnestness to her roles. Arnett is snarky and sharp as always as the bumbling and lazy Steve. He brings some solid heart though as we care about his journey too. Crews is delightfully a jerk in his villainous and cocky role. There are plenty of fun additions like WWE wrestlers like Roman Reigns and Becky Lynch as well as actors Ben Schwartz and Tony Danza (I just love some Danza in anything). The cast is really what ties the film together in a fun and earnest way. 

Does Paramount have a win on their hands with Rumble? This is not the most surprising or original tale, but it has plenty of heart to go around. The fun and committed cast make for a delightful viewing that the whole family can enjoy. I think that makes for a win so go and show this one some love.


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