Who remembers World Of Sport? Saturday afternoons, ITV, British Wrestling at it’s finest. Who remembers the big characters? Who remembers the bad guys?
I am way too young, but as a wrestling fan who grew up watching the WWF/WWE through the 90’s and still to this day, I am a big Wrestling fan and I can appreciate what came before it.
British wrestling was massive. It drew huge TV audiences and live event audiences but the draw of it started to die off in the late 80’s, which is when the American shows began to come to prominence.
Walk Like A Panther (12A) is the story of a fictional group of British wrestlers, long past their prime, who come out of retirement for one last show. It coincides with the story of their local pub, the Full Nelson, being sold to developers and ultimately set to be knocked down.
The film is funny, and it brings plenty to the table. The story of the pub being taken away should have been brought into the main focus of the story, as the reason they are all getting back in the ring in the first place is just to honour a dead friend…surely you have the saving of the pub being the reason why they do it…otherwise, don’t have that development in there at all!
Stephen Graham is great at just being Stephen Graham. His scouse charm comes through as Mark Bolton, son of the great Trevor “Bulldog” Bolton. He’s never had his shot at the big time and wants to prove himself to his father and all his friends.
To be fair, the acting in the film isn’t really a stretch for anyone. Everyone is literally just playing caricatures of themselves. Julian Sands is fun, Jill Halfpenny plays a great part and all the support are fantastic.
One thing that the film lacks however is that it never seems to get out of the 2nd gear of comedy. I wanted it to be funnier. Sure, there were moments of brilliance and genuine laughs in there, but for example, the “training montage” scene just wasn’t as funny as it could/should have been.
The characters the film creates were all great and worked well. The wrestling was passable for a bunch of oldies throwing each other around, and it did kinda capture that old school fun of the sport.
Worth a watch, but not the most hilarious thing I have ever seen.