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"BEYOND THE MAT"
(1999) (Mick Foley, Terry Funk) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Heavy Moderate Mild Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Mild Moderate Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Documentary: A behind the scenes look at the lives and careers of several professional wrestlers.
PLOT:
Professing to be a closet pro wrestling fan, director Barry Blaustein takes the viewer on a behind the scenes documentary about professional wrestling. Focusing on the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), Blaustein introduces various wrestlers at different stages of their careers. Among them is Terry Funk, a 53-year-old former star whose wife and health problems are forcing him to consider retirement.

Jake Roberts (a.k.a. Jake the Snake) was also a former star, but his battle with personal demons, including drug use, has marred his career and personal life, reducing him to competing in makeshift venues for little pay while having to deal with his estranged father and adult daughter. Then there's Mick Foley (a.k.a. Mankind), a self-professed family man whose dangerous stage antics leave his wife and young children cringing over the prospects of him really getting hurt.

Backstage, there's Vince McMahon, the latest owner of the WWF who's turned the family-run business into a billion dollar empire, while Roland Alexander, an accountant turned small-time wrestling school coach, tries to get his "students" their break by teaching them everything he knows about sport. As their personal lives and careers are explored, along with brief bits about Chyna, a bulky female wrestler, and two professional wrestler hopefuls, Tony Jones and Mike Modest, Blaustein uncovers and reveals previously unknown sides of the sport and the people involved with it.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they have any passing interest in the world of professional wrestling, they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language and violent content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • TERRY FUNK is an older wrestler who doesn't want to retire despite injuries and his wife wanting him to do so.
  • JAKE ROBERTS is a former star wrestler who has problems with drug use, and is estranged from both his father and adult daughter.
  • MICK FOLEY is a current wrestling star and devoted family man who's known for taking risks and his extreme behavior in the ring, both of which traumatize his wife and young children. Once he fully realizes that, he states that he feels like a bad father, but we never know if he changes his ways.
  • VINCE McMAHON is the owner of the World Wrestling Federation, a cocky businessman who controls every aspect of the WWF with an iron fist and even decides to become a wrestler himself for a while.
  • CHYNA is a female professional wrestler, a very muscular woman who admits that her mother formerly was concerned that she was a lesbian (due to lifting weights and her subsequent bulk).
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated documentary about the world of professional wrestling. Profanity is rated as extreme due to more than 10 uses of "f" word, while other profanities and some colorful phrases are also used.

    While some of the wrestling violence is obviously staged/choreographed, other moments are real, and involve wrestlers being hit with various objects (including repeatedly with a chair) and thrown from tall heights (with often bloody results - including a close-up view of a deep gash in a man's head).

    Various real-life people have bad attitudes, we see several instances of estranged families and the effect participation in the sport has had on the respective family members, and some characters smoke and one drinks. One of the wrestlers is also noted as having a drug problem and we see him on camera right after doing drugs. Beyond the obvious wrestling-related behavior (and some other bits) that may be imitated, some sexually related comments are made, and both male and female wrestlers are occasionally seen in small outfits.

    Should the above not be detailed enough to satisfy your concerns regarding the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our more detailed content listings.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Terry guzzles down a beer.
  • Comments are made about Jake battling personal demons, including drug use. In one scene, we hear that he wouldn't do a show unless the promoters got him some crack (cocaine).
  • Later, when the narrator says that he finally caught up with Jake after he had disappeared for a while, he announces that Jake was doing crack (and we then see the drugged up wrestler while apparently still high on drugs). Jake then comments on all of the drugs they used to take (cocaine, uppers, downers, etc.) so that they could repeatedly perform throughout the year (and sleep, etc.).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see some blood on a wrestler's head.
  • We see a wrestler vomit into a bucket. Since he can do this on command, McMahon decides to give him the stage name, "Puke." This wrestler then tries to vomit again on command, but can only manage some spit.
  • We see one of the wrestlers - whose real job is delivering bodies to the morgue - wheeling a completely covered body from a van toward a building.
  • We see some blood on Terry's face and shirt.
  • Terry has more blood on his face.
  • We see a man's urine stream (his back is to us).
  • We see another wrestler who has blood all over his head.
  • Another wrestler's head is bloody.
  • We see more blood on Terry's face.
  • After Mick's son accidentally is hit in the mouth, some blood runs from it (especially after Mick tells him to mix some saliva with it).
  • Mick's face and head are very bloody after repeatedly being struck with a chair during a match. Afterwards, we see a close-up of a large gash on his head that requires stitches.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A wrestling coach is said to have not always paid his wrestlers for their matches.
  • Jake states that his father raped his mother when she was thirteen (thus resulting in her being pregnant with him).
  • Although Mick is a loving family man concerned for his kids, for some reason he and his wife take their young children ringside to watch his matches (after previously expressing concern over the children's concern about their dad being hurt). In one such match where Mick is severely beaten, the kids are visibly traumatized by what they see.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • It's possible that those with weak constitutions or low tolerance for staged and some real violence might find scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" as unsettling or disturbing, especially one where we see Mick's wife and two young children cringing, crying and eventually leaving the auditorium in one match where he's severely beaten.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • We see a large sign that shows a man who carries a rifle.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Blow job" (oral sex), "Piece of sh*t," "Shut up," "Screwed up," "Losers," "Twits," "Kicks ass," "Candy ass," "Freakin'" and "Screwed" (nonsexual).
  • Kids may want to imitate the many wrestling related moves, stunts and fighting that occur in this film.
  • One wrestler shows that he can vomit on command.
  • We see a home movie of Mick, as a kid, jumping from his roof onto some mattresses on the ground below him.
  • We see that Jake's daughter has a pierced tongue.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 13 "f" words (2 used with "mother"), 9 "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals ("pr*ck"), 5 asses (1 written on a shirt), 5 damns, 2 craps, 2 hells, 1 S.O.B., 2 uses each of "Jesus Christ," "Oh God" and "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "God," "Jesus," "My God," "Oh Jesus," "God Almighty" and "By God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Various women show varying amounts of cleavage during the film, while some male wrestlers occasionally wear small tights during their matches.
  • Noting that one wrestler's head was near another's crotch, a third wrestler comments that it looked like he was going to give the second a "blow job."
  • We see Terry in his underwear as he gets out of bed.
  • Jake admits that the easy availability of women to sleep with on the road "screwed up" his sex life back home. He then talks about one (woman) a day not being enough, so that he then went on to two or three a day, then two at a time, then watching two women having sex. He then says that when one goes home and tries to make love to your wife, "ain't no way."
  • A female professional wrestler, Chyna, shows cleavage and part of her bare butt in her small outfit.
  • After joking that his match may have touched many people, Mick suggestively jokes to his wife, "I might touch you."
  • SMOKING
  • Jake smokes several times, while his father, daughter and former wrestler Jesse Ventura (cigar) smoke once.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Jake and his father don't get along and Jake resents him for that. At the same time, Jake and his estranged, adult daughter don't get along that well, and we see a tense and strained reunion of sorts between them.
  • Mick's wife and young children cringe and are visibly upset while watching him being pummeled during a match.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The business and "sport" of professional wrestling.
  • Jake states that his father raped his mother when she was thirteen (thus resulting in her being pregnant with him).
  • Chyna, a female wrestler, appears about as muscular as the male wrestlers. She comments that her mother used to worry that she was lesbian due to the way she looked and the fact that she lifted weights.
  • Although Mick is a loving family man concerned for his kids, for some reason he and his wife take their young children ringside to watch his matches (after previously expressing concern over the children's concern about their dad being hurt). In one such match where Mick is severely beaten, the kids are visibly traumatized by what they see.
  • VIOLENCE
  • While some of the following violence is staged (while in the ring), other parts appear to be real, especially the ones where real blood is drawn.
  • We see various quick shots of wrestlers being hit and/or thrown out of the ring.
  • Outside the ring, one wrestler smashes another into a wall.
  • We see a scuffle between a wrestler and a fan in the stands, but they're quickly separated.
  • We see more in the ring violence between wrestlers (hitting and punching, etc.).
  • A wrestler is thrown down onto a table that collapses.
  • A wrestler spins around with a ladder that knocks down two opponents.
  • A wrestler is thrown into some barbwire.
  • We see several views of Mick being thrown down through a cage above the ring and then falling from that height to the canvas below (where he appears stunned, but is okay). We also see more footage of him being thrown down from a ten or fifteen foot height onto tables that collapse beneath him.
  • There's some talk about past rape, kidnapping and murder (involving Jake's family), but we don't see any of it.
  • We see a wrestler repeatedly kicking McMahon in the chest (in the ring and during McMahon's stint as a wrestler himself).
  • A wrestler hits another wrestler in the face with a toaster (and is noted for having four "justifiable" homicides on his record).
  • A wrestler throws Mick onto a table that collapses beneath him and then onto some speakers/electrical equipment that sparks from the impact.
  • A wrestler head butts his opponent and then pile drives him. He then repeatedly hits him on the head and in the face with a metal folding chair until the defeated wrestler's face/head is very bloody (and we later see a deep gash in his head that requires stitches).



  • Reviewed March 10, 2000 / Posted March 17, 2000

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