Walk Like a Panther is a British comedy film about a group of 1980’s wrestlers forced to don the tights one more time, to save their pub. This film actually grew on me the more I thought about it after I left the cinema. At it’s best this film is an underdog story which manages to capture the plucky spirit of something like Eddie the Eagle and, it’s in this that the film really shines. The film’s characters whilst likeable enough are mostly underdeveloped each representing a different stereotype. These characters aren’t fresh with most being a rethread of something you’ve seen better before. However, all that being said the characters are still incredibly likeable and, you root for them to win throughout the entire film with none of them being grating or annoying. The jokes most of the time don’t work or at least didn’t for me, to a point where sometimes they are cringingly bad.
However, scattered throughout the film there are occasional jokes that do work quite well and, I found myself laughing hard at most of these. The film is quite well paced which is a nice contrast to a lot of recent releases and, doesn’t suffer from any needless bloat. The editing was quite good in this film with an excellent montage sequence and, a slow-motion scene that lovingly lampoons the sports genre. Although, the choice of song during the montage sequence being Gold by Spandau I found to be quite jarring and took me out of the film. In terms of performance, a lot of the characters are quite forgettable, with the real meat coming from the father-son story of Mark and Trevor. Mark played by Stephen Graham is the most well written and flushed out character here and, Graham performance is excellent. Mark’s character motivations which are to one day following in his father’s footsteps and be a wrestler just like him always felt very genuine. The relationship between Trevor “Bulldog” Bolton and, his son Mark is perhaps the soul of the film and, personally, I found it quite relatable. Furthermore, Michael Socha’s character of Ricky is the highlight of this film every scene he is in is outstandingly funny and, he really brings something to the film. The cameo by Game of Throne’s own Lena Headey is amazingly random and, she really does bring an air of class to the proceedings. This is not the best comedy film of the year it is fundamentally flawed in a lot of different ways. In spite of that the main character and, the underdog story that is at the heart of it all really does make this film quite touching. I would recommend this even though it isn’t the best film.
Reviewed by Luke.