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Beat Down 

Commendable effort struggles to find footing

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A spunky teenager defies her dad and become a pro wrestler, but the rumble's far from royal in this low-budget, Newfoundland comedy. Fran (Republic of Doyle's Marthe Bernard) has always dreamed of pile-drivers and headlocks, but her ex-wrestling, alcoholic father (Trailer Park Boys' Robb Wells) is dead set against it. When his ex-rival offers to train Fran, she leaves her dad behind to be part of the grungy, cutthroat world of indie wrestling. Director and co-writer Deanne Foley overreaches with her broad, indecipherable characters. While Wells is effective as a walking non-sequitur, he's not so adept at carrying the movie's heavy-handed dramatic weight. Ditto young Bernard, who makes a wide-eyed wrestler, but an oddly listless protagonist. Overdrawn, with some cookie-cutter life lessons and a romance subplot that's DOA, Beat Down puts forth a commendable effort but can't find its footing.

Beat Down
Rated NR · 93 min.
Director: Deanne Foley
Writer: Deanne Foley and Iain Macleod
Cast: Robb Wells, Janet Kidder, Mark O'Brien, Marthe Bernard, Tony Nappo, Andy Jones, Dan Beirne and Laura Dennis

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