Actor David Arquette attempts a rocky return to the sport that stalled his promising Hollywood career.
Wrestling fans still can’t get over how WCW put the world heavyweight championship belt around the waist of David Arquette during the promotion of his film READY TO RUMBLE in 2000. I remember the moment he won the belt to be honest and although I found it pretty dumb as a fan, I never held a grudge against the dude. He’s an actor and he’s obviously a huge fan of the sport (and after watching You Cannot Kill David Arquette you CANNOT disagree with that notion). This documentary chronicles the wrestling community’s reaction to the debacle of Arquette winning the WCW championship all these years later and how the actor decides to prove the haters wrong by actually giving professional wrestling a legit shot almost 20 years since winning one of the most coveted titles in all of pro wrestling.
You Cannot Kill David Arquette, in addition to being one of the greatest wrestling films of all time, also works very well as a character study in that it reveals some very uncomfortable personal moments where Arquette is dealing with depression and addiction (the Ketamine sequence still makes me sad). I truly applaud David and his family for being so honest and authentic about their personal and professional lives AND the insanity that this wrestling mission has spurred upon them. Arquette is genuinely upset that the pro wrestling community has this hatred and disregard for him and you really get a sense of that when David shows up to a convention where Tag Team icons The Nasty Boys try to assault the cameraman and fans ignore Arquette’s autograph table like the plague.
As David becomes more and more serious about his return to wrestling, his pathway may seem troubling at first, especially when he shows up to a backyard wrestling show and is suplexed onto shards of glass and thumb tacks to an audience of schlubby teens. It’s incredibly depressing to see one of the most recognizable actors of our time get the shit kicked out of him by some A-Hole kids but as you see the progression, it all begins to make a lot of sense later on.
David Arquette attends an actual wrestling school so he can learn the proper techniques and holds, he gets his ass handed to him in backyard death matches and he even travels to Mexico to learn the high flying techniques of LUCHA. There’s a very touching moment here where David is legit wrestling on crosswalks with his Luchadore trainers; they show him how to perform on cement surfaces to parked traffic in order to earn some spare change. What Arquette does to earn their respect is pretty damn cool and by the time David gets his Lucha mask you may actually have tears in your eyes. It’s an emotionally charged moment that really stood out and by the time David has learned all of these techniques and gets jacked thanks to some DDP Yoga, he ends up being a pretty damn decent pro wrestler…
Arquette went back to the basics, literally, in order to earn respect from the indie community that shunned him and he literally almost gives his life in this movie to show that dedication. The infamous death match between indie wrestler Nick Gage (dude has been in prison for armed robbery) and David is one of the most disturbing things I’ve seen as a wrestling fan. The finish was truly unsettling and I honestly don’t think Gage should be allowed to ever wrestle in a major promotion after what he does here…
The documentary is paced very well and even if you’re only the slightest fan of pro wrestling, then you’ll still love You Cannot Kill David Arquette. Aside from a few shots that you can tell were “staged” here and there (like when David and the Luchas climb some cliff and howl at the moon) the movie is easily THE best doc of 2020 so far (and we’ve had some fantastic entries like Class Action Park to come out recently).
PS: I would also like to know where David found that Ric Flair WHOOOO- Tang Shirt as well please.