Do you remember David Arquette? If you were growing up and having your formative years in the 90’s into the 2000’s, you will recognize this now actor turned pro wrestler. Probably best known for Scream and his marriage to Courtney Cox, Arquette has struggled to hang in the spotlight over the years. Just when you may have thought Arquette’s career may have collapsed for good, he decided to make a bold choice…go into pro wrestling! But doesn’t this sound familiar? Arquette is a former WCW World Heavyweight Champion. How…did this happen? When you are trying to promote a film about a pro wrestler you will do just about anything.
But why should we care about this late career change for this forgotten actor? If directors David Darg and Price James have anything to do about it, they will make sure that you experience this poignant underdog story. Arquette is an empathetic guy who has been down on his luck for years. This film can capture that perspective on his journey which makes a great protagonist for this tale of redemption. You see him at rock bottom (getting destroyed in an extremely violent backyard wrestling hardcore match) and see him reach inspiring heights (getting into incredible shape and putting on strong matches). The amount of heart that Darg and James pack into this film is quite impressive.
But is this a film that will grab the attention of general audiences outside of the wrestling crowd? Well…does everyone who loves Rocky love boxing? This film can capture that universal journey of someone following their dreams and do it in a moving and powerful way. Don’t get me wrong…there are plenty of cool cameos for wrestling fans and they capture this profession in a raw and realistic way. I was impressed by how well the film balances this universal story and the hardcore wrestling passion. There are some natural roadblocks that Arquette faces (negativity from people in his life, poor fitness) and they are things many of us have confronted ourselves with. This film will probably not surprise you in a narrative sense (this whole concept is plenty surprising enough anyway) but at least there is a great attention placed on making Arquette empathetic.
According to this new documentary, You Cannot Kill David Arquette…but will you be entertained by watching him put his body on the line? There is plenty of enjoyment to get out of this new film. Whether it is watching the car crash spectacle of Arquette’s matches or the emotional journey he takes to chase his dream, there is something visceral and moving about the experience. This film is so unexpected in what it can accomplish and in how it makes us connect with a subject that most would not seek out. On the documentary side of things, this is one of the most pleasant surprises you will get all year.