“Fighting With My Family” A Shooting Star on Blu-ray

Florence Pugh (left) stars as Paige and Jack Lowden (right) stars as Zak Knight in FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY, directed by Stephen Merchant, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Credit: Robert Viglasky / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures © 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

It’s one of those true stories that feature a lot of comedy due to the lifestyle and actions of a family that’s entrenched in the entertainment of wrestling. Nicely acted and directed, the cast of Fighting with My Family is very recognizable and take their roles seriously, making the film enjoyable to watch. The story may be a little over the top, but as far as the filmmakers are concerned it all really happened. It’s a fun movie and one you’ll want to watch again and again. Now on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, Digital HD and VOD.

In a small town of Norwich, England a family of wrestlers have been teaching their children and neighborhood teens how to wrestle. Keeping the kids off the street and providing entertainment for the locals, the Knight family of father Ricky (Nick Frost), mother Julia (Lena Headey), son Zak (Jack Lowden) and daughter Saraya (Florence Pugh) are getting a lot of notoriety and fill the small gym with many followers. While Ricky and Julia are the upcoming stars, they are very active in working on their moves with the townies.

Lena Headey (left) as Julia Knight and Nick Frost (right) as Ricky Knight in FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY, directed by Stephen Merchant, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film.
Credit: Robert Viglasky

One day the family sees the announcement that Hutch (Vince Vaughn), a promoter for the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), is coming to London to recruit new pros for their matches. It’s something both Zak and Saraya have always wanted and have worked on for a chance to show their moves. So they both enter the qualifying round up against a room filled with wannabe’s.

Merchant wastes no time introducing his characters and showing their love for the entertainment of wrestling. He then sets up his audience to look closer at the family unit showing their strong love for community by teaching and including the locals in their workouts. Of course he uses some Hollywood to pump up the volume and even brings in The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) to verify the validity of the film. As I found out, it was Johnson who found the documentary in the first place so why not make an appearance.

It’s tough acting out an aggressive character, but when it comes to physical ability and pushing the energy levels to get good performances, that takes a “beyond the beyond” giving of self. Doing most of her own stunts including the wrestling moves and the training you see in film, Florence Pugh as Paige becomes that character. Her aggressiveness and the intensity of it makes it all look real. In fact, after much of what you see in the beginning, it’ll make you believe that the 22-year-old Pugh has been wrestling most of her young life. Fighting with My Family should be her stepping stone to more films and give a boost her career.

Dwayne Johnson as Himself in FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY, directed by Stephen Merchant, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film.
Credit: Robert Viglasky

There’s a lot of very good wrestling action and some nice eye candy for both men and women. That coupled with very snappy comical situations, make the film a fun day or evening for friends and lovers. Watch the credits to see the real Saraya “Paige” Bevis and her family in some video shots.

BONUS EXCLUSIVE TO BLU-RAY
“Director’s Cut”

BONUS FEATURES on BLU-RAY AND DVD
“A Family’s Passion: A Making Of” – Go behind-the-scenes to see how the cast and filmmakers tell the story of this family’s passion for wrestling, their ambition for fame and success, and their undying love for one another.
“Learning the Moves” – Discover how the cast, professional wrestlers and filmmakers brought the wrestling to life.
“Feature Commentary Writer/Director Stephen Merchant”
“Deleted & Extended Scenes”
“Gag Reel”

Fighting with My Family has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for crude and sexual material, language throughout, some violence and drug content. The movie is based on a documentary about Saraya “Paige” Bevis that was shown on BBC and then made into this feature film that’s directed and written for the screen by Stephen Merchant.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A nicely paced movie for all ages. (4 out of 5 Stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Florence Pugh, Lena Headey, Nick Frost, Jack Lowden, with Vince Vaughn And Dwayne Johnson
Directed and written by: Stephen Merchant
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual material, language throughout, some violence and drug content. Director’s Cut is unrated.
Running Time: 1 hr. 48 min.
Original Theatrical Date: February 22, 2019
Video Release Date: May 14, 2019
Original Theatrical Release Date:
Language: English
Reviewed Format: Blu-ray/DVD combo pack
Audio: Blu-ray DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, DVD Dolby Digital
Video: Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Number of Discs: 2 Discs
Distributed by: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Released in: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, VOD

Writer, critic, film editor John Delia, Sr. has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 20 years and other publications for a total of 40 years. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association and Critics Association of Central Florida Send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com