Wrestling fans from the late 90s and early 2000s were given a film called Ready to Rumble (2000). It co-starred David Arquette and Scott Caan as two big wrestling nerds who get an opportunity to help their hero, the Jimmy King (Oliver Platt), return to WCW stardom after being kicked out of the federation. The film was divisive and definitely stupid, but some fans just enjoyed seeing themselves projected on the screen. In the real world, Arquette was given the WCW title, which shattered any plausibility the soap opera of sports entertainment had left. Thus, almost 20 years later, we are given You Cannot Kill David Arquette, a documentary about Arquette’s decision to return to the ring in an attempt to make right for the wrong many wrestling fans accuse him of doing.
The documentary is directed by David Darg and Price James. They do a solid job of informing the audience about the debacle at WCW, and how it and a series of B-movies slowly killed Arquette’s once-promising acting career. Insight is given to Arquette’s wife and children, his alcoholism, and his mental health struggles. Just a year after a heart attack, Arquette commits himself to become a professional wrestler. The movie documents the process, and all the highs and lows.
Wrestling fans will enjoy many of the talking heads that appear in the documentary. Rick Flair, Eric Bischoff, Kevin Nash, Diamond Dallas Page, and many others are shown in highlight clips, training montages, and fan events. The emotional crux of the film is going to boil down to the audience’s feelings of Arquette himself. If you are on board with him and his risky goal, then you will find yourself captivated.
One moment in the film follows Arquette into Mexico to receive Luchador training. An awesome scene that introduces a new concept was street wrestling. At stoplights, Luchadors rush out in front of cars and perform a few moves and then seek tips from the spectators. Arquette is required to do this as part of his training. It is a very cool sequence and also something that needs to be imported to the American traffic stops.
This movie is definitely going to appeal to fans of Arquette, real Hollywood stories, and wrestling fans. However, the documentary is constructed well and tells a compelling narrative that fans of this style of storytelling can enjoy. It will be available on VOD in late August and is definitely worth checking out. You Cannot Kill David Arquette earns the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.