Some of the dark comedy in this is fantastic, highlighted by the supporting roles of Tom Davis and Gemma Whelan. The soundtrack is a lot of fun and it doesn’t get bogged down in exposition. It’s fun and by no means bad, but it never really elevates to the level of great. It’s a little plodding in points and some of the other characters are too weak to invest in.
This film suffers from inevitable comparisons to Considine’s first directorial outing, Tyrannosaur. Is it as good? No. Is it still a really good film? Absolutely. Let’s move on.
Considine puts in a hell of a performance here, showing that there are benefits to actor/directors. The whole story and other performances orbit around him, and that works for the film. This is a film about relationships first and foremost, and it was the male friendships in particular that really affected me. It’s bleak at times but it has real heart.
As a long-time wrestling fan, and someone who was there the night Paige won the Divas Title in 2014, this was a slightly odd experience. I found myself paying more attention to the detail sometimes, looking to see who was making a cameo or how faithful the recreation was. But at the end of the day, the film really did hit me emotionally. Surprisingly it was as much the story of female friendship among the trainees that I appreciated as much as the family—though the casting and performances of the Knights were just terrific.
Subculture documentaries are always fun, and there are some incredibly hilarious parts in this—like when they try to get the cats to do an agility course. The stuff about breeding and sending cats half way round the world to rich people took me out of a bit because breeding and selling is barbaric af.