Review by Dan Skip Allen
Like many other people, I was a wrestling fan as a kid. I loved watching Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Macho-Man Randy Savage, Sting, and Rick Flair. Their characters were bigger than life. I watched religiously for thirty years. WWF and WCW were a way to think about that world Vince McMahon created on the USA Network on Saturdays and eventually on Monday Night Raw. The Main Event is like going back in time to when I was a kid, dreaming of being a WWF/WWE Superstar.
Leo (Seth Bane Carr) is an 11-year-old kid in middle school who goes through the normal middle school routine. He gets picked on by bullies at school every day. One day while on the run from them, Leo hides in a wrestling museum where he finds a musty old mask hidden in a box. He puts the mask on and soon realizes it gives him superpowers. With his newly found powers, Leo enters a wrestling competition to be the next WWE Superstar.
The competition is full of WWE Superstars such as Otis (Heavy Machinery), Keith Lee (as Smooth Operator, the holder of the NXT North American Championship), and Sheamus, Mike 'The Miz' Mizanin, and Leo's childhood idle, Kofi Kingston from The New Day. Cory Graves and Rene Young from Smackdown are the announcers. Leo's newfound powers help him become popular at school and he even gets a new girlfriend, Erica (Mamona Tamada). His wrestling name is Kid Chaos and he becomes the talk of his town. Of course, the question now becomes whether or not he has become too big for his friends.
The Main Event has its usual sense of teen angst and family drama as well. Leo's struggling relationship with family and his friends cause him personal trouble. He needs to decide what's most important, his life with his friends or his newfound wrestling career. Leo has tough decisions ahead. A lot of films like this have similar plot threads. Live-Action Disney films have used these types of tropes for decades. They put the main character in a position where he or she has to decide what's right or wrong in their life and who and what is most important to them. Like all those Disney films from the past, The Main Event tackles those topics perfectly.
The Main Event deals with many topics and themes we've seen a thousand times before. The thing is it doesn't get old. I found myself caring about Leo, his friends, family, and this underdog story. The subplot of his relationship with his father intrigued me as well. This is a feel-good story for today just like those Disney films were back in the day. Wrestling fan or not, The Main Event is a film anybody can get behind. Jay Karas has crafted a fun family film. Especially inspiring is the message that you can overcome the odds in life with or without superpowers. Family and friends are what matter most in life.
The Main Event is now streaming on Netflix.