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'Rumble' is ham-handed


About "Ready to Rumble" the less said the better.

This cynical, crass non-comedy stars AT&T; shill David Arquette as a lunkheaded wrestling fan and, for no good reason whatsoever, Oliver Platt as the tarnished hero he worships. It's difficult to say what's worse -- the movie's general lack of wit, its ham-handed violence, Warner Brothers' appalling cross-promotion of its TNT "Monday Nitro" show, the misuse of Platt and Martin Landau (this is what an Oscar gets you?), the clear contempt the filmmakers have for their audience (wrestlers and their fans are depicted somewhere between snail and slug on the intellectual ladder) or the fact that the profane, offensive lot of it is being marketed to kids.

The movie's central sight gag is when Arquette and Scott Caan find themselves covered in raw sewage; by the end of "Ready to Rumble" we know just how they feel.

'Ready to Rumble'

Starring David Arquette, Oliver Platt, Scott Caan

Directed by Brian Robbins

Rated PG-13 (language, crude humor, sexual content including brief nudity, and wrestling violence)

Running time 107 minutes

Released by Warner Brothers

Sun score *

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