Fantasia Film Festival: You Cannot Kill David Arquette Review

You Cannot Kill David Arquette

A documentary about a Hollywood actor trying to be a real-life professional actor doesn’t have the right to be any good, but that’s not stopping You Cannot Kill David ArquetteYou Cannot Kill David Arquette follows David Arquette’s professional wrestling journey as he tries to redeem his name in the world of sports entertainment. David Darg and Price James’s documentary examines a man who tries to find acceptance in a fandom that doesn’t want him. In the end, what should be a bad human interest piece, turns into a tragic comedy of pain, suffering, failures, and success.

The film argues that despite the events on Monday Night Nitro, some things may not be what they appear. Judging people based on what they did on a scripted show can often cause fans to either unfairly treat the performers or be ostracized by this entire fandom. However, the documentary shows that David Arquette loves the world of professional wrestling. Unfortunately, that love has led to his alienation from both Hollywood and professional wrestling. They continually judge and reject him based on this one event in his life. 

What You Cannot Kill David Arquette does well is transforming the narrative into an underdog story. The film establishes that, much like his films, David Arquette is a lovable perpetual loser. Arquette is humble and sweet in a way that some pro wrestlers are boisterous and angry. You would think that someone wrote this film, but everything you see in this film is all so real. 

You Cannot Kill David Arquette

The film also masterfully portrays the underdog story comparable to any great sports movie. The audience hangs on to the emotional roller-coaster as the underdog attempts to rise above the hate and prove to everyone that he’s not a joke. It also shows that wrestling is helping Arquette improve himself as a person and improving the perspective of professional wrestling among audiences too.

Yet the film also points out why professional wrestlers are so dismissive of Arquette. These wrestlers also have their own underdog story. In their minds, they believe that David Arquette winning the world championship is disrespectful to their life’s work. So by following his step-by-step journey to the ring, it showcases all of the pain and exhaustion that wrestlers endure every day. His journey shows you that wrestling is real and not just flashy theatrics.

Also, we get to see the passion of other wrestlers through the film’s examination of the different brands of wrestling: Lucha libre, backyard, and traditional wrestling. Each hit and slam Arquette takes exudes a genuine expression of pain and suffering. None more so than the infamous deathmatch incident where David Arquette almost died because of his deathmatch

Overall, You Cannot Kill David Arquette is a triumphant and inspiring documentary. Changing the minds of hardcore wrestling fans is a Herculean task. That’s why it’s so inspiring to see someone work hard to achieve his goals, even when the odds are stacked against him. At the same time, it will inspire you to work on making your dreams — no matter how silly — a reality.

Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

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