You Cannot Kill David Arquette (2020)


Branded as the most hated man in wrestling after winning a highly controversial WCW World Heavyweight Championship in 2000, actor David Arquette attempts a rocky return to the sport that stalled his promising Hollywood career. Dangerously determined to redeem his reputation and reclaim his self-respect, Arquette will stop at nothing to earn his place in professional wrestling.

Cruising my various streaming platforms for something to watch the other night, You Cannot Kill David Arquette popped up, and immediately grabbed my attention.  

I guess I’ve never realised it, but I like David Arquette.  He’s easy to like in films like Eight Legged Freaks and the Scream Franchise, but he’s also great in more serious roles like 3000 Miles To Graceland (what a fantastic film that is, by the way…)

I also like wrestling.  I am a lapsed fan, and haven’t watched in a long while, but I was an avid viewer back when Arquette became “WCW World Champion”.  So it’s safe to say, that I’m familiar enough with the backstory as to why this documentary exists..  

But I was wrong.  I figured it to be a retrospective look at the man and his career, but what it really is, is an in depth look in to a man who is riddled with health issues, anxieties, and frustrations with his own career.  On top of all that, he wants to correct some fan perceived “wrongs” associated with his short lived WCW run.  

The wrestling business is something that Arquette has immense love and respect for, and he struggles daily with the fact that he’s often blamed for the companies (WCW) downfall.  

We follow him as he fails to get on a “Legends of Wrestling” show.  We follow him as he finally gets a booking on a show, only to find it’s a backyard event (and they take advantage of him).  We follow him as he gets in shape, quits smoking, changes his diet and really becomes engaged with his “comeback.”

It’s a fascinating story, but occasionally it’s difficult to watch.  The aforementioned scenes where he has his arse kicked in a backyard are just the tip of the iceberg.  There are scenes shot in the midst of a death match that are particularly disturbing, not the least of which is when Arquette’s throat is basically cut.  Yes, it’s real, and yes, he nearly died in the middle of the ring.  

Ultimately, it seems as though Arquette has made peace with his wrestling career, and the film ends on a high, but the journey for we the viewer is a captivating one.  

You might not be a fan of David Arquette, or wrestling, but if you like a fascinating human story, you must check this documentary out. 

9/10

Rick Trewin. 

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