Review: 'You Cannot Kill David Arquette' shows actor on quest for wrestling redemption
Courtesy of NEON
Did you know that David Arquette, actor from the “Scream” franchise, “Airheads,” and, among others, “Eight Legged Freaks, was named a world heavyweight wrestling champion circa 2000?
Yeah, me neither.
As of late, Arquette’s remarkable and noteworthy rise in the wrestling arena has been well documented thanks to social media, but in David Darg and Price James insightful “You Cannot Kill David Arquette,” we get to see a new side of the actor, one that almost redefines the B-list performer. You have to wonder if you’re living in some sort of alternate reality, and must constantly do a head check at the door.
“Is that really David Arquette?”
It is, and he’s ripped, and has the moves.
But it wasn’t always that way. When he won the WCW for promoting the little seen flick “Ready to Rumble,” the wrestling community balked. How could this chummy D-lister claim a title that literally everyone in the sport works to achieve?
In other words, he was blacklisted and left for scraps. When the documentary starts he’s still going to auditions. Long gone are the days of casting agencies giving the actor buzzy projects. “You Cannot Kill David Arquette” highlights Arquette’s incredible journey of self discovery and sobriety, while featuring interviews from those closest to him, including ex wife Courtney Cox, and Oscar winner/sister Patricia Arquette. They’re just as confused about David’s newfound obsession as the audience, but there’s a wild edge to this story that’s hard to resist.
Nevermind that Arquette had stents put in his heart, the “See Spot Run” actor wants back in the ring and will do just about anything to achieve the glory days. His training is a bit unorthodox, including a backyard wrestling match, where he gets his ass kicked by wannabe amateurs with literally nobody in attendance. You wonder why someone of his stature (he is still a recognizable figure) would endure such torment? But if anything it shows his resilience and eagerness to prove his naysayers wrong. If that means getting his teeth kicked in by twenty somethings looking for something to do on a Saturday night, then so be it.
Nevertheless, Arquette’s transformation is a marvel to witness: he quits smoking, drinking, and loses 50 pounds to hop back in the ring, ultimately building to a coveted event in Detroit, Michigan that’ll prove his worth. “You Cannot Kill David Arquette” is just as much about Arquette finding a true self identity as it is about participating in a sport he loves. When he gets seriously injured in a match and has to be hospitalized, it’s brutal to watch, but how quickly the performer pulls himself together gives the documentary something to root for.
Some of it doesn’t always work, a training session with a group of Mexican Luchadores never satisfies the way you want it too, and the inclusion of certain medical procedures the actor underwent left this critic uncomfortable. Props for the filmmakers and Arquette for being transparent with the audience, but at times things got too personal and took away from the momentum of the picture.
Still, by the final stretch, we’ve witnessed Arquette on an entirely different level. This isn’t Officer Dewey from “Scream” or a sleazy vampire out for blood in “Buffy The Vampire Slayer.” Ironically, “You Cannot Kill David Arquette” shows the actor taking on his most important and vulnerable role to date: Himself.
YOU CANNOT KILL DAVID ARQUETTE is now playing in select drive-ins across the country and will be available via digital retailers starting Friday August 28th.