There aren’t too many films about thumbwrestling so here we go.
Synopsis: A television crew follows Thumbwrestling’s biggest event in what might be it’s final year. 5 years after the villainous Mr. Venom defeated Papa Brussel by thumb submission, it is now Papa Brussel’s sons who must fight through the ranks of some of the best thumb wrestlers in the world for their chance at dethroning the champ, revitalizing the sport, and restoring the Brussel legacy. (Tricoast Worldwide)
Starring: Jared Winkler, Nathan Caywood, and Rob Colletti
Writers: Enrico Natale. Damian C. King, and Jared Winkler
Director: Enrico Natale
Running Time: 90mins
This film was told as a mockumentary covering what could be the final year of the biggest thumbwrestling tournament. In reality, it was just a vehicle to tell the story of a trio of brothers from a famed thumbwrestling family trying to regain their former glory after their father was defeated five years earlier by the evil Mr. Venom (Bert Belasco). In order to do so, the brothers would have to overcome their differences and learn to work together.
The thumbwrestling culture was exactly as one would expect, echoing professional wrestling from the rings to the eccentric group of participants, featuring a luchador, a woman with split personalities, and a spiritual master just to name a few. Being a redemption story, the end result was inevitable but the journey to that result was still mildly entertaining to watch. What made it more interesting was that each brother had their own quirk. Nathaniel Brussel (Winkler) was born with no thumbs, Kenny Brussel (Caywood) was blind, and Connor Brussel (Colletti) was a bumbling alcoholic with carpal tunnel syndrome.
The film is relatively short, clocking in at 90 minutes, and it indeed felt that way as it simply breezed by. The wrestling matches were too quick and didn’t allow us to experience all the different personalities at play. The writing could have been better seeing most of the humor wasn’t particularly funny, from the commentators, to the different wrestlers, to some of the dialogue between the brothers. The best part of the film was the chemistry between the brothers. Their relationship felt genuine and they were fun to watch together.
The acting was decent all around with Winkler, Caywood, and Colletti standing out above the rest for reasons mentioned above. The three had great chemistry, elevating the unoriginality of their story arc. The actors playing the different wrestlers definitely committed to their various quirks.
Overall, this was a decent indie mockumentary with an original concept that just wasn’t explored as fully as it could have been, choosing to tell the brothers’ story instead which makes the film’s title slightly deceiving.
*WTF will premiere in Los Angeles and will also be available on Amazon VOD, iTunes and VUDU on Sunday August 20th, 2017*