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The Last Champion (Spoilers)

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I watched it and thought of posting a long review. But I'll keep it short.

The Good: A wrestling movie. The wrestling is very realistic and the final scene with JB, Gable and Randy Lewis is well done. Without JB that scene would be lost.

The Bad: Its almost 2 hours long and the first hour moves with all the speed of a tectonic plate. Also Cole Hauser who plays the lead character, John, doesn't really change his expression the entire movie.

The Ugly: There are so many dramatic things that happen to various people that get brushed off like no big deal, when the next dramatic thing happens it doesn't really have much of an emotional impact.

You go from John coming back to his hometown after 20 years, being involved in a back mortgage that is conveniently owned by his ex rival or teammate, his high school coach dies randomly and nobody really seems that sad outside of one scene. The star wrestler, the son of the bank owner, quite and goes to their rival school. His backup is plagued by various issues, including being assaulted and beaten by his teammates, his mother abandoning him and his 2 siblings, and being arrested for shoplifting. But he makes the state finals and pins his rival in the OT tiebreaker. 

Gable sounds like he's reading his lines as he says them, and Randy Lewis says about 3 words. JB is the most authentic and natural character in this film, which is too bad since he has only about 12 minutes where he's in it. 

Overall: If you like wrestling, skip the first hour. You're not going to miss anything. 

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Truth be told, it had a compelling story to start with and that story kind of disappeared with different, much littler stories filling in from time to time.  The movie did NOT flow and was all over the place.  How it was all of a sudden the state finals was beyond me. 
 

Also, there are about a total of 2 actual actors in the entire movie. Cole is limited by the writing of the main character and his “girlfriend” was actually pretty good. After that, the kids were brutal and even though JB gets an A+ for exuberance, he joined Mr. Lewis and Mr. Gable in the absolutely are NOT actors category. 
 

Vision Quest can rest easy knowing this movie has ZERO chance of dethroning......

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I thought the story was nice. A small town comes together and does what small towns are supposed to do. They stand by their own. They forgive. They persevere. And they win stare championships. Never mind I didn’t even know Colfax transferred to another school till halfway through the finals. Never mind the SV3 win was so improbable and unnecessary because we just knew he had to win. Never mind that when a team has the two best guys in the state in the same weight class one of them simply moves up. Never mind that the the 106 pound state finalist looked enormous. Never mind that the Washington state finals had Gable, Lewis and JB announcing. Never mind that Miller couldn’t see the tilt coming despite having been hit with it in the wrestle off and regulation time. 

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10 minutes ago, BigTimeFan said:

I thought the story was nice. A small town comes together and does what small towns are supposed to do. They stand by their own. They forgive. They persevere. And they win stare championships. Never mind I didn’t even know Colfax transferred to another school till halfway through the finals. Never mind the SV3 win was so improbable and unnecessary because we just knew he had to win. Never mind that when a team has the two best guys in the state in the same weight class one of them simply moves up. Never mind that the the 106 pound state finalist looked enormous. Never mind that the Washington state finals had Gable, Lewis and JB announcing. Never mind that Miller couldn’t see the tilt coming despite having been hit with it in the wrestle off and regulation time. 

LOL, I was going to say some of the descriptions I read earlier reminded me of that move Legendary with John Cena.   This kinda does too

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16 hours ago, 1032004 said:

LOL, I was going to say some of the descriptions I read earlier reminded me of that move Legendary with John Cena.   This kinda does too

Legendary also had Danny Glover as a walking, talking and slightly racist stereotypical plot device too. 

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I enjoyed the movie. Agreed it jumps all over the place at times but was able to follow. Could have narrowed down the focus and expanded on a couple storylines more.

Annoyed me the main character didn’t have cauliflower ear. The man was an Olympic champion. Just a minor detail.

The voiceover of JB and Gable’s lines were pretty bad, but I would assume that’s typical for non actors. I don’t understand even including Lewis in the scene as his three words didn’t really impact the scene.

Agree the strength was the wrestling and showing the qualities of a small community.

The movie is worth a watch


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, grappler6 said:

I enjoyed the movie. Agreed it jumps all over the place at times but was able to follow. Could have narrowed down the focus and expanded on a couple storylines more.

Annoyed me the main character didn’t have cauliflower ear. The man was an Olympic champion. Just a minor detail.

The voiceover of JB and Gable’s lines were pretty bad, but I would assume that’s typical for non actors. I don’t understand even including Lewis in the scene as his three words didn’t really impact the scene.

Agree the strength was the wrestling and showing the qualities of a small community.

The movie is worth a watch


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Caught part of an interview Gable did on WABC radio in New York  last week. 

It covered several topics, including his work on the movie.

He said he was brought in as a Technical Consultant to "straighten out" the wrestling scenes in the movie.

He didn't say if, originally, that included  being on screen.

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On 12/10/2020 at 4:39 PM, MSU158 said:

Vision Quest can rest easy knowing this movie has ZERO chance of dethroning......

Vision Quest is the best because it's a movie that has wrestling. Its not a wrestling movie. 

If I want to see realistic technique, I will watch a match. If I want to see JB, Gable, and Lewboo I will watch an interview. Shoehorning a bunch of wrestling stuff to pander to fans isnt going to make a bad story and bad acting watchable.

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8 hours ago, Drake_Mallard said:

Vision Quest is the best because it's a movie that has wrestling. Its not a wrestling movie. 

If I want to see realistic technique, I will watch a match. If I want to see JB, Gable, and Lewboo I will watch an interview. Shoehorning a bunch of wrestling stuff to pander to fans isnt going to make a bad story and bad acting watchable.

Have you seen Win Win?  A million times better than Vision Quest IMO

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3 hours ago, Drake_Mallard said:

Ive heard of it, but I thought there were mixed reviews of it on this site.... maybe Im thinking about something else..

Not sure what the opinions of this site are, but IMO it is the only wrestling movie (not many to pick from) that combines both good wrestling scenes and good acting/plot.   The kid who plays the main character was a state champ.  I guess I am also a fan of Paul Giamatti.

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19 hours ago, 1032004 said:

Not sure what the opinions of this site are, but IMO it is the only wrestling movie (not many to pick from) that combines both good wrestling scenes and good acting/plot.   The kid who plays the main character was a state champ.  I guess I am also a fan of Paul Giamatti.

I enjoyed Win win quite a bit. Even went the the theaters to see it. Forget Giamatti, his second assistant Bobby Cannavale made that film. The “just get the f out on bottom” part is a classic. 

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8 minutes ago, gimpeltf said:

Alex Shaffer hunterdon central. Won states as a sophomore I believe. 119. Was on team nj. Another team nj kid, Dante porazzo depaul was the masked opponent.

Great to see that he’s been in quite a few movies since win win as well. Good for him. It must have taken quite a bit to walk away from the sport as a sophomore state champ but glad to see it worked out for him and he made the most of his opportunity. 

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13 hours ago, AnklePicker said:

I enjoyed Win win quite a bit. Even went the the theaters to see it. Forget Giamatti, his second assistant Bobby Cannavale made that film. The “just get the f out on bottom” part is a classic. 

Yup he was good too.    I think it was rhe first Blu Ray I ever bought

Am meaning to check out the Last Champion though.   Earlier I said some of the descriptions sounded kinda like the movie Legendary.   Maybe this is crazy but I think I’d even take that over Vision Quest.

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Just watched the Last Champion.

I’d say it is worth a watch for wrestling fans, but I probably would put it about on par with Legendary.   I guess I am a Vision Quest hater but I liked this more than Vision Quest - it wasn’t the fastest moving plot but I didn’t find it super boring - I actually did think Vision Quest was boring at times.

The wrestling was decent, but there wasn’t a whole lot of it other than the state finals match.  I got the sense they weren’t wrestlers but they probably spent a lot of time making it look like they were.

Agree with some of the other comments too.    I was doing some work at the same time so may not have been 100% paying attention but I too was confused when it was all of the sudden the state finals, could’ve sworn like 10 seconds earlier it said “Regionals” on the bottom of the screen.   And yes it’s not really believable that they didn’t just bump up one of those kids, (spoiler alert) especially if the coach knew the original wrestle off was going to be a sham.

And nice work Jason Bryant.  You have a future as an actor that plays an announcer (although you did sound like you were rooting for the main kid).    Yeah Gable was pretty bad - you’d have no idea he was one of the GOATs, his comments were incredibly obvious, and he didn’t sound much different than the 2 coaches, who didn’t say much more than things like “Get him,” “be aggressive,” and “single leg!”

Edited by 1032004

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2 hours ago, 1032004 said:

Just watched the Last Champion.

I’d say it is worth a watch for wrestling fans, but I probably would put it about on par with Legendary.   I guess I am a Vision Quest hater but I liked this more than Vision Quest - it wasn’t the fastest moving plot but I didn’t find it super boring - I actually did think Vision Quest was boring at times.

The wrestling was decent, but there wasn’t a whole lot of it other than the state finals match.  I got the sense they weren’t wrestlers but they probably spent a lot of time making it look like they were.

Agree with some of the other comments too.    I was doing some work at the same time so may not have been 100% paying attention but I too was confused when it was all of the sudden the state finals, could’ve sworn like 10 seconds earlier it said “Regionals” on the bottom of the screen.   And yes it’s not really believable that they didn’t just bump up one of those kids, (spoiler alert) especially if the coach knew the original wrestle off was going to be a sham.

And nice work Jason Bryant.  You have a future as an actor that plays an announcer (although you did sound like you were rooting for the main kid).    Yeah Gable was pretty bad - you’d have no idea he was one of the GOATs, his comments were incredibly obvious, and he didn’t sound much different than the 2 coaches, who didn’t say much more than things like “Get him,” “be aggressive,” and “single leg!”

You need to lose your forum privileges for one week for being a VQ hater.  It’s all we had for quite some time.  There are many issues with reality in that film but if you love wrestling it has a lot to offer: wanting to beat the best, cutting weight, the plastic suit.  Ahh, memories. . .

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42 minutes ago, Sstern said:

You need to lose your forum privileges for one week for being a VQ hater.  It’s all we had for quite some time.  There are many issues with reality in that film but if you love wrestling it has a lot to offer: wanting to beat the best, cutting weight, the plastic suit.  Ahh, memories. . .

I think I’d take Vision Quest over Reversal, does that help?

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Win Win is probably the best "wrestling" movie that is pretty harmless in terms of family viewing.  There is a TON of stuff in Vision Quest that hasn't aged well at all, to put it mildly.  It's still a classic and there isn't a wrestler alive who doesn't get jacked up when they hear "Only the Young" or "Lunatic Fringe", but man, that movie is problematic.

 

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48 minutes ago, Konquest said:

Win Win is probably the best "wrestling" movie that is pretty harmless in terms of family viewing.  There is a TON of stuff in Vision Quest that hasn't aged well at all, to put it mildly.  It's still a classic and there isn't a wrestler alive who doesn't get jacked up when they hear "Only the Young" or "Lunatic Fringe", but man, that movie is problematic.

 

Yeah I hadn’t watched it in 20 years and watched it recently with my high school aged daughter. I forgot just how “problematic” parts of it were. 

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11 hours ago, AnklePicker said:

Yeah I hadn’t watched it in 20 years and watched it recently with my high school aged daughter. I forgot just how “problematic” parts of it were. 

I always wondered why it seemed perfectly normal for Louden to be hanging out in a bar. I just chalked it up as it being a long time ago in a small town where people probably bent rules like that if they felt like it. 

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