THE MAIN EVENT – Film Review

When 11-year-old Leo Thompson (Seth Carr) discovers a magical wrestling mask that grants him super strength, he uses it to enter a WWE competition. With the support of his grandmother (Tichina Arnold), Leo will do whatever it takes to achieve his dream of becoming a WWE Superstar. Can one kid win it all, in the face of epic challengers in the ring?

Wrestling and the world of the WWE has been a big event that people have enjoyed for decades. There is just something super exciting, fun, and somewhat ridiculous about watching two grown adults get into a big (albeit staged) fight with each other. Many people from all around the world gather around the television to watch wrestling on a regular basis.

I’ll admit – I am not the biggest wrestling fan out there. At the same time though, I know several people that love wrestling and I do respect the field and think that it can be a fun thing to watch on the television every once in a while. I can only list a handful of wrestlers, though – mainly the big name ones such as Hulk Hogan, the Undertaker, Andre the Giant, John Cena, etc.

Also, last year, Stephen Merchant released the excellent heartfelt comedy-drama Fighting with My Family, starring the always phenomenal Florence Pugh as WWE superstar Paige. That movie was filled with heart, humor, and wasn’t afraid to get dramatic whenever it needed to.

Unfortunately, The Main Event, the latest feature film from director is absolutely none of the things that Fighting with My Family was. It’s a movie with incredibly poor writing, mostly bad acting, and an ending that is so predictable, you will see it coming a mile away.

But let’s talk about that story. The concept behind a young boy with big dreams of becoming a wrestler in the WWE one day that manages to obtain a magical mask that gives him extraordinary strength is honestly an exceptionally fun concept that could have some really fun potential behind it. Is it incredibly goofy and a little bit corny? Absolutely. But there is still some fun to be had within that concept.

Seth Carr as Leo in The Main Event (2020).

Sadly though, the movie is way too campy and often comes across as a Hallmark movie that you’d find on the TV one day while you’re bored. There are way too many sappy scenes that feel so out of place and unnecessary. The movie follows a formula that is ridiculously easy to pick up on while watching it.

Throughout the movie, we will watch a scene where Leo, in the disguise of Kid Chaos, does something that is meant to be funny or cool. A scene or two after this, we get an “emotional” scene with his grandmother or his father, and after a while, it just felt so tired and boring.

Speaking of the grandmother though, she was the funniest character in the whole film. As for the acting for the character by Tichina Arnold, it’s decent. There are a ton of scenes where she acts super goofy and it is meant to be hilarious, and sometimes it’s funny, and sometimes its really terrible. By far the best actor here is, luckily, main actor Seth Carr who portrays lead protagonist Leo. With that being said however, even he isn’t great here. Virtually every single actor involved with this project feels a little bit off of their game.

For those that are seeking out an entertaining popcorn flick, it is just okay. There were a couple of moments with some genuine fun, cheery action sequences. But, there are also some scenes that are immensely horrible. All of which take place in a wrestling ring. In fact, there is one scene in particular in this movie involving a character named Stinkface (Otis Dozovic) that was so hilariously awful that it almost came across as a parody. While watching this scene, my jaw truthfully dropped and I was staring in utter amazement at what I was looking at, but in all the wrong ways.

The Main Event is a corny, poorly written mess with bad acting and doesn’t explore its fun premise as well as it could have.

Overall Grade: D+

MPAA Rating: N/A

Cast: Seth Carr, Tichina Arnold, Adam Pally, Ken Marino, Aryan Simhadri, Momona Tamada, Glen Gordon, Keith Lee, Babatunde Aiyegbusi, Josh Zaharia, Dallas Young, Bodhi Sabongui

Directed by: Dean Craig

Distributed by: Netflix

Release Date: April 10, 2020

Running Time: 100 minutes

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