IHAO on ... No Holds Barred

Ahh, the infamous wrestling movie, the very first created by WWE Studios (technically), starring Hulk Hogan as Rip "The Ripper" who is just Hulk Hogan in blue and a bunch of evil executives.  And of course, Tiny Lister as ZEUS!!  This movie, oh wow.  Ok.

This movie is great!  Beyond Hogan, mind you, who as an actor leaves a lot to be wanted.  Actually, it is very sad that even when he is playing himself, Hogan is still just terrible and not a good actor.  Tiny Lister, whose dialogue consists of 60% yells and grunts, is a way better more nuanced and believable actor than Hogan.  And since we are on actors, let me go ahead and say that Kurt Fuller is magnificent.  More than magnificent, amazing!  He does such a great job in roles like this, he's made a career out of them.  But this role in particular is my favorite.

Ok, so plot: Rip is the biggest ratings draw on television.  Kurt Fuller's evil tv executive Brell wants him on his network, so he does everything he can to force Rip to join, but Rip refuses.  So Brell creates a brand new show, Battle of the Tough Guys, which was a mix of MMA, bar brawls, and professional wrestling.  In doing so, he finds Zeus.  Zeus then goes on to destroy everyone, including Rip's little brother.  This is enough to finally get Rip to fight Zeus for all the marbles.  Good guys win, go home happy.

This movie is ridiculous, hilarious, and action packed.  Everything that is awesome is over the top, everything that is terrible, such as Rip pulling a dude out of the car, sniffing the air, and exclaiming "What's that smell?!" to which the dude says in his weaselest most nasally voice, "Doookie." And then CUT immediately!

Can't even believeably act like he smelled something crappy ... like his acting career.  Zing!

But let's look at it from film making standpoint, beyond the ridiculous.  Other than bad acting from Hogan and some slightly too silly dialogue, this film is tight.  Brell is an amazing antagonist, Zeus is great, and Rip really has to fight for what he believes in, and the ending is tense.  The plotting is on point, and moves incredibly well.  The romantic subplot jokes are all pretty hilarious.  The effects looks super cool.  The film is shot more than competently, and in some places actually just some beautiful amazing shots in this silly wrestling film.  The director, Thomas J. Wright, is a very good television director, and it is a shame he has not done more films, but he's worked on a lot of great shows, like Castle, Supernatural, Firefly, Angel, and the Ron Perlman Beauty and the Beast.

Some may balk at the wrestling.  Some may find it like the critics did to be just for adolescent boys.  But there is some real artistry and skill in this film, and I think it is very very good.  Highly recommended.

Grade: B++


This review is legitimate and exactly my thoughts on it!  The April Fool's is that I said April Fool's!  Two for two!  IHAOnion will be back again!!!

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