Fighting With My Family (Merchant, 2019) – Movie Review

Having just had a child, I have found myself watching more and more TV. As my hobby of choice is usually gaming. Gaming requires two hands. Hands which I rarely have free. So, when feeding, or burping, or just comforting I have found myself sat on the couch in front of the TV. Scrolling through Prime I found Fighting With My Family. A wrestling biopic that, from the first time of watching it, grasped my full attention. So of course I watched it for the ninth time. Here are my thoughts on Fighting With My Family….

Details of Fighting With My Family

Fighting With My Family: Florence Pugh on costar Dwayne Johnson
Image Source: Entertainment Weekly

Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (North America), Lionsgate UK (UK & Ireland), & Universal Pictures (International)
Production Companies: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Film4 Productions, The Ink Factory, Seven Bucks Productions, Misher Films, & WWE Studios
Director: Stephen Merchant

Producers: Kevin Misher, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Stephen Merchant, & Michael J. Luisi

Scriptwriters: Stephen Merchant

Main Cast: Florence Pugh, Lena Headley, Nick Frost, Jack Lowden, Vince Vaughn, and Dwayne Johnson

Released: 28th January 2019 (Sundance), 14th February 2019 (US), & 27th February 2019 (UK)

Running Time:  108 Minutes

Certificate: 12A

Story of Fighting With My Family

Being Familiar Doesn't Stop Fighting with My Family from Being Fun | Vanity  Fair
Image Source: Vanity Fair

The story of Fighting With My Family follows the real life story of WWE Diva’s wrestler Paige. Born in Norwich, England, Paige was a major part of her family run wrestling organization. Wrestling alongside her brother, father, and mother they have a small crowd but put on regular shows. The siblings however dream of leaving their family organization for the big leagues- the WWE. After sending a video submission they are invited to try out for the organization.

Unfortunately, there only interested in Paige and her brother, Zak, ends up in a bad place mentally due to his dream being destroyed in front of him. The rest of the film follows Paige’s struggles fitting in with the rest of the NXT roster as she trains for her WWE debut.

Analysis of Fighting With My Family

The Cast

Fighting With My Family' Review: Dwayne Johnson Movie Gets 3 Stars | Us  Weekly
Image Source: Us Weekly

Fighting With My Family is packed to the rims with blockbuster talent. From British Lena Headley, Stephen Merchant, and Nick Frost, to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Vince Vaugn, and of course the star- Florence Pugh. In once again one of her best performances to date. Which does make me think Pugh is incapable of giving a single bad performance. From her appearances in the MCU to Midsummer or Little Women. The sheer adversity she delivers role after role is mesmerizing. She is clearly shaping up to be one of the hottest talents in Hollywood and becoming a highly sought after name. After this role brought upon her international breakthrough, Pugh went onto also appear in Oppenheimer, Black Widow, and Dune: Part Two.

The Rock

Fighting with my Family on Hulu: What's the True Story Behind Florence  Pugh's WWE Movie? | Decider
Image Source: Decider

The Rock contacted Stephen Merchant, who he co-starred with in Tooth Fairy, after watching the Fighting with my Family documentary on Channel 4. Insisting that Merchant starts work on adapting it for the big screen. The rest is history with the two even cameoing in the film. Dwayne Johnson as the himself/The Rock and Merchant as Zak’s soon to be father in law.


Fighting With My Family' Is Reviving the Forgotten Genre of Female Sports  Movies | Glamour
Image Source: Glamour

The World Wrestling Federation has been in the movie industry for a while. Having started agreeing with production companies to utilize the popularity of WWE superstars and use them as vehicles for action movies. Vehicles in the movie industry is a term used to refer to actors/actresses with so much fanfare/critical acclaim/box office returns will have whole movies tooled around them. WWE even started making their own movies, the most prominent series of these would be the Marine. Which started with John Cena back in 2006. But has since gone on to release 5 more installments with various wrestlers stepping into the titular tole. With Ted DiBiase Jr. taking the role from Cena for the sequel before Mike “The Miz” Mizanin took over the role for the rest of the series.

Film review: Fighting with My Family; The Aftermath
Image Source: The Times

This however stands out by far as the WWE’s most critically acclaimed venture into the movie industry. Showing them the potential marker for more wrestler biopics. As sports and music biopics tend to typically do well both commercially and critically. Unfortunately, WWE seemingly hasn’t seized the chance to capitalize on it. Hopefully, in the future more biopics will come out.

Summary Fighting With My Family

Zelina Vega opens up on playing AJ Lee in Fighting with My Family -  Wrestling News | WWE and AEW Results, Spoilers, Rumors & Scoops
Image Source: Wrestling News

Inspired by WWE superstar Paige’s real life story of becoming a wrestler, Fighting With My Family is a blockbuster comedy/drama as well as being a sports biopic. With a star studded cast and an excellent script that excels in dialogue and tone. Paired with amazing choreography Fighting With My Family will entertain you no matter your movie interests. With both Vaugn and, star, Pugh both giving one of their best performances of their careers.

Recommended: YES! (Must watch for any wrestling fan!)