There are a few professional wrestlers that do well in films. Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper are two of the earlier generations of wrestlers-turned-actors, and Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, The Big Show, and Ted DiBiase Jr. are some of the current generation lacing up their acting boots. Knockout is a title that comes out at the end of April on Phase 4 Films, and may be the most enjoyable WWE-wrestler-related film to date. Austin plays a boxing trainer / janitor that takes Matthew (Daniel Magder, of Life With Derek) under eir wing.
In a film that takes bits and pieces from titles like The Karate Kid and Rocky V, Matthew faces a tremendous amount of guff from bullies, unsupportive parents, and a sheer lack of size, Matthew is able to reach eir goals in a touching film. The supporting cast comes forth with similarly solid acting, with a tremendous amount of up and coming actors that fill out the different team mates, family, and school members. Despite being a film that just is hitting stores, I feel that Knockout could hold its own with titles like the (aforementioned) remake of The Karate Kid or even The Wrestler.
The film’s premise has been done in the past, but Austin’s acting ability is something that imbues a certain addition to the film. This means that Knockout stands up to repeat viewings, and does not rely on wholly crazy events or other dues ex machine type of plot devices to further the story line. The film is for all ages, even if there is a little more violence than would normally be present in a children’s flick.
Knockout (DVD) / 2011 Phase 4 Films / 95 Minutes / http://www.phase4films.com