Queens of the Ring (2014)

queensofthering

france-icon

2013, Warner Brothers/Orange Studio/karé Productions/WWE Studios/La Petite Reine/Canal+

Director:
Jean-Marc Rudnicki
Producers:
Fabrice Goldstein
Antoine Rein
Thomas Langmann
Writers:
Sandrine Bourgoin
Manon Dillys
Hélène Le Gal
Marie Pavlenko
Cinematography:
Antoine Mondo
Editing:
Antoine Vareille

Cast:
Marilou Berry (Rosa)
Nathalie Baye (Collette)
Andre Dussollier (Richard the Lionheart)
Audrey Fleurot (Jessica)
Corinne Masiero (Viviane)
Isabelle Nanty (Sandra Pedrono)
Jacques Frantz (Tonio)
Hugo Fernandes (Mickaël)
Emilie Gavois-Kahn (Evelyne)
Cyril Guei (Jonathan)
Eric Savin (Laurent)
Nicky Naudé (Enriquo)
CM Punk (Himself)
Mike “The Miz” Mizanin (Himself)
Eve Torres-Gracie (Herself)

With the assistance of WWE Studios, this French film will touch the hearts of not only the fans but those who love the “zero to hero” genre that is reminiscent of films such as the Korean hit film The Foul King (2000).

Having been released from jail for stealing, Rosa plans to start a new life for the sake of her ten-year old son Mickaël, who is under foster care. She gets a job at the local supermarket and becomes friends with co-workers Colette, Jessica, and Evelyne. When Rosa learns her son is a big WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) fan, she decides the only way she can reconnect with her son is to do the one thing he likes: learn to wrestle.

Under the tutelage of ex-wrestler Richard the Lionheart, Rosa convinces Colette, Jessica, and Evelyne to join her. However, when Evelyne is injured in an attempt to be on the top rope, the girls find their replacement in the store’s goth butcher Viviane. Thanks to Rosa meeting with gala organizer Tonio, the women have three months to perfect their training as they take on a group known as the Mexican Divas in a match. As the women bond, their personal lives take a turn in one way or another. Will the women be able to overcome their personal obstacles when it comes time for the big match?

While the film features cameo appearances by the likes of current WWE superstar Mike “The Miz” Mizanin and former WWE stars CM Punk and Eve Torres-Gracie, the film revolves more around the foursome of women whose lives change both on a professional and personal level. As the film begins, the focus seems to be on Rosa, who saves a young woman from jumping and earns her respect, which eventually leads to a job. Marilou Berry does very well in the role of Rosa, who only wants respect fromj her estranged son.

We get to learn about the other central characters. Colette has a very bad family life with her husband suspected of having an affair. Jessica is the floozy of the group, who finds herself falling for an orthopedic surgeon intern she meets in the gym. As for Viviane, she only asks for one thing: respect. It is great to see how their training turns these women’s lives around. While at first, things don’t always go as planned, they soon learn it is for the best and they just roll with it.

The wrestling scenes are another plus of the film. In one of the funniest sequences, the girls receive some training from some elderly veterans of the ring. With the thought that it will be easy to take these vets on, they learn the very hard way it’s not meant to be. The final match shows the hard work these women endured and some of the moves are nicely executed, especially from Jessica, who uses her ring name of Calamity Jess as she pulls off some nice acrobatic moves against the luchadoras of Mexico. These women definitely learned well training their moves for the film.

Queens of the Ring is a very funny and very well made “zero to hero” wrestling film in the vein of Kim Jee-Woon’s The Foul King. Kudos go out to Marilou Berry, Nathalie Baye, Audrey Fleurot, and Corinne Masiero for their great performances in the film and the wrestling scenes are nicely choreographed and executed by the cast.  A sure fire winner of a film in this reviewer’s opinion.

WFG RATING: A

DVD

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