Some days, I want to watch comedies. Other days, I want to watch dramas. Today, I wanted to watch a cheesy sports documentary on one of the most legendary wrestlers of all time—a wrestler that I have always been fascinated by, ever since childhood: Andre the Giant.
What makes him interesting? He’s really big. Why is that interesting? Because it’s not normal. This man is like two men in one. His sheer girth makes him compelling to the eye and to the minds of those he towers over. A massive force who, outside his ring persona, was just a simple guy. This documentary chronicles the life of a man who was… no, I’m not gonna advocate for such clichés.
“A look at the life and career of professional wrestler André Roussimoff, who gained notoriety in the 1980s as Andre the Giant.“
This documentary is not terribly long, nor is it really all that in-depth. In honor of this, my review of it will be similar.
Andre the Giant is a pretty cookie-cutter documentary that goes through the typical beats you would expect from the genre. From humble beginnings… Rise to stardom… He loved people and was a cool guy… Stardom began to overwhelm him… It became difficult to continue his career due to health concerns… His death was sad and everyone is crying… Standard criteria.
If you are not otherwise familiar with one André Roussimoff, however, this is definitely a nice way to introduce him. In truth, I actually viewed another documentary about him via Biography, which is available on YouTube for free. Much of what was shown in the documentary topic of today’s post was a more stretched-out version of what I once already saw, with this covering a bit more on the rise of the World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment.
There is a little bit of a stretch where Andre the Giant seems more interested in Hulk Hogan and the expansion of WWF/E, but given this was produced in part by the WWE, that’s not totally surprising. And to its credit, building the event up to a peak in the Wrestlemania match between Hogan and Andre was the highlight of the whole documentary. Made me miss watching wrestling… ever so slightly.
Nevertheless, a very safe and general look at the man who was the giant. The synopsis on some sites paint this as an “ambitious” documentary, which is an outright lie—there is nothing about this that would be considered controversial or extraordinary whatsoever. It’s almost on the level of an ESPN 30 for 30 special (which, to its credit, is fairly solid in quality). I suppose I think there could be more explored about Andre other than the standard demons that usually follow celebrities.
Maybe Andre was just a boring guy (relative description) who had no interest for controversy or hyperbole. That’s probably all the better, though it doesn’t make for a riveting documentary.
If you’re interested in knowing André Roussimoff, this is a good introduction. Those already fairly aware of his story won’t find out much here. And viewers a little more on the cynical side, who like their documentaries to perhaps say something along the way, will probably be a little bored. A clean, general documentary that does exactly what it needs to do. It’s fine.
Final Score: 5.5/10
The rating for all other films can be found at Letterboxd.
For more, check out the March of the Movies Archive!
Thank you for your time. Have a great timezone.