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You Cannot Kill David Arquette: A Fun Documentary About Redemption, Wrestling, and Fake Tans

September 12, 2020

I remember back in 2000 when the movie Ready to Rumble was being unleashed into theaters, and David Arquette became the WCW World Heavyweight Championship during the promotional push for the film. By winning the coveted championship, he joined the elite ranks of wrestlers such as Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Goldberg and Sting. The wrestling world was pissed off about it, wrestling fans were pissed off about it, and a year later, WCW folded into WWE, and the rest is history. To Arquette’s credit, when he won the championship, the WCW was losing viewers to the WWE, and they were doing everything they could to gain (or keep) viewers, and remain relevant. So, it’s not his fault that the WCW went under, he’s just been used as a scapegoat for it’s ending.

Jump roughly 19 years in the future, and Arquette is still hated by fans, and treated as a pariah by wrestlers who still don’t like him. That’s why at the age of 48, while recovering from an honest-to-goodness heart attack, he attempts a wrestling comeback by traveling to Mexico, taking part in “death matches,” and building a legit ring in his backyard. His quest for respect is genuinely inspiring as he loses 50 pounds, develops his wrestling persona and becomes a legitimate athlete who can fly around with the best of them. It’s as if one day he got tired of being an outcast (by partially his own fault), and decided to get right, and gain some respect – and I really respect that.

Directors Price James and David Darg do an excellent job of combining theatricality with a fly-on-the-wall aesthetic, and I love how Arquette wasn’t afraid to show himself fail, or fall back into old habits. There are moments in this documentary that will make you cringe (his first backyard wrestling match), and five minutes later make you smile (seeing his daughter’s proud reaction to his wrestling), which creates an exhausting and exhilarating experience. In the end, it’s really easy to cheer for Arquette, and you most certainly will, as he’s able to lay some demons to rest by gaining respect.

You Cannot Kill David Arquette is an excellent documentary, and I recommend it to anyone who loves a good comeback tale.

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