Murderball
Review By: Gringo

Fatso! Put down the cupcake, stop playing nerdgames, take a shower, get the fuck out of the house and go see the movie Murderball right now!

So I was highly disappointed when I read some stupid CNN article (it wasn't really stupid, but hooray for adjectives) saying that a little documentary called Murderball was getting great reviews, was a fantastic thing to watch but that, according to stupid CNN (yes, adjectives) "nobody" was going to see it. Why? Apparently, according to the brainwheezes over at stupid CNN (hush now, small child) it's because the movie is about sportsmen. In wheelchairs.

Yes, apparently the nation is not going to see one of the greatest documentaries of recent years because the cast is mostly made up of quadriplegics who play a very violent game called wheelchair rugby. The game's nicknamed Murderball, hence the title of the movie, but Murderball wasn't appealing to the sporting community, so they gave it a softer-sounding name. Anyhoo, that doesn't escape the fact that if it's true U.S. moviegoers are avoiding this piece of genius because they don't like seeing people in wheelchairs, then Americans suck!

This isn't a movie that is about a bunch of disabled people sitting in an empty white room staring vacantly out of the window for two hours. No, it's an intense, immensly enjoyable way to spend a few hours as you watch true sportsmen who have a passion for the game they play and only happen to be in wheelchairs. These guys kick some serious wheelchair-based ass as they slam into each other on the Murderball court.

The documentary follows the U.S. team (and the coach of the Canadian team, a former U.S. Murderball star called Joe Soares) as they prepare for their Olympics match. You get to learn the backstories of several of the cast members, but in particular attention is paid to Soares, current U.S. teamplayer Mark Zupan and Keith Cavill, who starts to show an interest in Murderball.

Soares comes across as one of life's determined over-achievers. That is, he's never happy, and always demanding 110%. Remember that Simpsons episode when the Springfield softball team told Mr. Burns' hypnotist that achieving anything more than 100% was mathematically impossible? Exactly. Anyway, we learn about Soares' slow fall from grace on the U.S. team and he mostly comes across as someone who wants to coach the Canadian team to glory as some kind of vengeance against his home country.

Mark Zupan by contrast is the very fit, very quick-witted star of the U.S. team. He doesn't take any kind of bullshit, and it's clear that he just wants to do well in the sport rather than get one over on the Canadians or any other fruity country. His is perhaps the most interesting story in the movie because you get to see him interacting with the person who caused the accident leading to Zupan being in a wheelchair, as well the reaction of Zupan's family. So it makes sense the movie devotes a healthy chunk of its time to this guy, especially because of his complete undercutting of any patronizing "Awwww, he's in a wheelchair" attitudes from strangers (with candy).

Zupan also happens to have the greatest girlfriend in the entire world. Not only is she incredibly cute, but she was an intern at a morgue. No, really. She even says that she misses her internship, especially "the people". Oh, how I chuckled like a giggletoot when I heard that line.

Last but not least, Keith comes across as an amusing guy who seems to like the idea of the extreme nature of Murderball. This is a harsh sport, and either it's clever editing or really like this, but the games seem to be a lot closer than other sports, literally being decided in the last 10 seconds of some matches (a countdown ticks away on screen to show you how close these contests can be).

This is an outstanding documentary. I don't really care for sports, being a fairyqueen, but it kept my interest in the game of Murderball throughout, and you really will get involved in rooting for either the U.S. or Canada. Unlike a Michael Moore documentary, this movie is honest, compelling and well-paced: while I got bored with certain parts of tubby's last few movies, this one held my interest throughout. All I can do is urge that you go see it. And if you won't go see it because it's about people in wheelchairs, then you're dumber than I thought you were (and I thought that was quite dumb).

Well, what are you waiting for? Didn't you hear me?! Get to the cinema now! MOVE IT, YOU FAT FUCK! MOVE IT, MOVE IT, MOVE IT!!!!


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