KNUCKLEHEAD is certainly a Big Show

dvd review by Tony Stabile

WWE Studios’ latest film, in partnership with Samuel Goldwyn Films, is Knucklehead. Together, the companies have also released Legendary starring John Cena.

Knucklehead is the story of an orphan man-child named Walter Kronk (The Bigshow). The film follows Kronk as he is recruited by Eddie Sullivan (Mark Feuerstein), a deadbeat fight-manager to become a fighter in order to help save the orphanage from being shutdown. To avoid what seems to be a betrayal on the behalf of Sullivan, the nuns send Mary O’Connor (Melora Hardin) to chaperone the boys. They sign Walter up for a series of amateur fights on their way to the big tournament in New Orleans. They soon find out that the road will be a bumpy one with distractions from fellow fight-manager Memphis Earl (Dennis Farina), whom Sullivan owes money to.

Within the first five minutes of this flick, directed by Michael Watkins, it becomes apparent that this will be a happy-go-lucky “knucklehead” comedy. The character of Walter Kronk is easy to judge as the gentile giant beacomes a mean streak when needed.  

The true star of this film is Eddie Sullivan as we see his evolution from two-bit wise guy to lovable sleazy ball with a heart of gold. Unfortunately, the film’s pace is far too fast to ever really connect with Sullivan completely, let alone any of the other characters. There are many laugh-out loud moments during this film as those punch lines are what keep the film going during longer moments. The end of this flick can potentially leave a sour taste in the mouth of jaded film watchers as it falls into a “Disney ending,” wrapping up all the lose ends with a smile and hug.

The Bigshow did very well for his first major role. His presence on screen is powerfull – not only because of his size. He was able to blend into the background when the scenes weren’t for him, which is quite a feat if you think about it. The Hollywood veterans that round out this cast fit nicely into their roles doing a good job but nothing to merit special recognition.

If you’re looking for that “thinking man’s comedy” or something to stimulate your senses without the use of medicinal aides, this isn’t for you. However, if you’re just looking for some slapstick humor and an easy night, then this is the perfect flick.

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