That's What I Am Movie Review

That's What I Am Movie Review

ThatReleased on April 29th, 2011, ‘That’s What I Am’ is the latest venture of the now rebranded WWE. Famous for dishing out movies about wrestlers taking on the roles of nannies, body guards or convicts; WWE has this time around decided to cool things down a bit and thus, have come out with a family entertainer that would appeal to movie goers of all ages.

Synopsis:

It’s project time at middle school and everyone is getting paired up with everyone else as teams are formed in the class to handle the individual projects. Andy Nichol (played by Chase Ellison) is horrified when his favorite English teacher, Mr. Simon (played by Ed Harris) pairs him up with the class outcast, Stanley (Alexander Walters) for the project.

Also called ‘Big G’ (courtesy his big ears and ginger colored hair), Walters is a school pariah of sorts; and Andy is completely devastated to find out that he has to spend time with the latter in order to work on the project; a move he knows would make him an outcast too.

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Even though the boy’s don’t get along with each other at the start; as time wears on, they learn to respect each other’s wishes in addition to becoming close friends. And as Andy realises that Stanley is not necessairily an outcast and is ‘ok’ to hang around with, Stanley in turn learns to accept the fact that not all the students in his school are pathetic bullies.

In between all this, Andy’s favorite teacher, Mr. Simmon comes to face problems of his own when a student he had punished earlier decides to implicate the former on false charges of homosexuality. Mr. Simmon in turn gets chucked out of his job, and the school for failing to comment on the issue or clear his stand in the matter.

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Follow up these two plots with some good, childish humor, and lessons of love, respect and tolerance; and you have got a general idea of what ‘That’s What I Am’ is all about!

What We Think:

First things first! This is a different script coming from WWE which has made sure to keep the movie family oriented and inspirational. And so, if you walk into the theater expecting a few wrestlers to turn up and create hell on screen, you will be disappointed.

For the only wrestler who makes an appearance in ‘That’s What I Am’ is Randy Orton Stamp who breezes into a single scene in order to register a complaint with the school principal.

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The film claims to be based on true events. And as the movie builds to a fervish and extremely emotional climax, you wonder as to whether all this really happened in real life.

That said and done, the central subject of the film has been deftly (and sensitively) handled by the director who makes sure that the messages about social tolerance, bullying and personal dignity, are inspirational and hard hitting.

The cast is justified and has come out with a decent performance. Specially worth mentioning are Amy Madigan (the school principle), Molly Parker (Andy’s mom), Mia Rose Frampton (Andy’s First Girlfriend), Harris (Simon) and Randy Orton; all of whom manage to shine brightly in their respective roles.

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Our Verdict:

Definitely a surprise package from the WWE, ‘That’s What I Am’ is a simple movie with lots of social messages; and would most probably appeal to families. So if you want to watch a decent flick with the entire family this weekend, you can opt for this one!

Director: Michael Pavone

Cast: Ed Harris, Chase Ellison, Alexander Walters, Randy Orton, and Mia Rose Frampton

Rating: 3.5/5

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