The Bungle With Paramount Plus’ Rumble And Where to Find It Online

18 Dec

Rumble Film PosterWWE Studios‘ doesn’t make a lot of animated films, and when they do, viewers recognise why it’s often about selling the parent’s company style of entertainment. Make it kitschy, and they will come. The last work had their best known wrestlers teaming up with Scooby-Doo and the gang. They were decent enough such that two films (Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery and Curse of the Speed Demon) got made! But with their latest, Rumble, what’s presented isn’t anything I haven’t seen before.

Originally released to Paramount Plus last year, this CGI film wasn’t able receive the attention it so deserves. Now that it’s widely available (it arrived on home video in late October), and is streamable on services like Netflix (arriving in Canada Dec 15, 2022) and Amazon Prime USA, it’s possible to see what the fuss is about. I enjoyed it for the kaiju moments–which was sadly very brief–more so than its nod to the universal monsters of yore. Thankfully there are plenty of Easter eggs to laugh at. But not everyone will spot them all. For example, there’s a blink and you’ll miss “Mini Cthulhu” scrolling past.

This cartoon is essentially Monsters Inc meets Rocky. Here, Winnie Coyle (Geraldine Viswanathan) is trying to save her small town of Stoker from being forgotten. After their last star, a beast named Tentacular (Terry Crews), turns heel by turning his back on the people, she has to find someone else and turn him into a champion. Just whom she finds is Steve Rayburn Jr. (Will Arnett), who would rather forget his heritage; he has the same personality as Sully and comes through as quite the pacifist. When his father was the first champion from this little town, he had a lot to live up to and that took a toll on him.

Rumble' Release Date: Animated Wrestling Movie Movies Deeper Into 2021 –  Deadline

Consequently, he ran away. But not even he can leave the ring for good, and is in a Fight Club of sorts. He prefers to lay low and take the hits instead of living up to everything his family came to represent for the sport. As for why the community of Stoker is worried about not having a hometown hero isn’t that well explained.

Rumble is very loosely based on the book, Monster on the Hill (Amazon Link), and this children’s book is better at showing us why each town is unique. That’s because it’s not only the home to some monster but also the personalities represent some kind of heritage that few recognise as important. The vibe is not like the story in Disney’s Cars. Here, the tale concerns itself about what can be lost due to progress taking shortcuts in the road to success. Lightning McQueen feared being left in the dust. His confidence in being a winner didn’t happen until after learning some humility. With this movie written by Hamish Grieve (in his movie directorial debut) and Matt Lieberman, Steve needed to find more than a little respect since living under the shadow of his father’s fame isn’t easy. There’s a decent enough story in Rumble to keep me interested, and at the same time, there’s another theme I wished could have been explored.

Some urban myths show just how important townships and their local legend goes hand in hand. Had this narrative included Nessie from Loch Ness, I would have enjoyed this movie more. Instead, all it offered were generic ideas rather than getting very specific. Despite this missed opportunity, the tale at least offers some exciting moments. Rayburn Jr. needs to score big because the bottom line is about saving the town of Stoker. Since we can’t have more than one literary hero to save the day, all we have is Steve, and he’s no monkey at it. He has more than a tiny snowball’s chance at hitting the mark, and just how he wins is at least glorious.

3 Stars out of 5

Rumble Movie Trailer

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