Movie Review – The Resurrection of Jake the Snake

Ha, didn’t know I was a wrestling fan, did you?  Well me neither.

Welp here’s a surprise.  I’m doing a review of a movie about professional wrestling.  I’m sure many of you didn’t know that I have an interest in such things.  Well, I do.  So there.  I follow two sources of wrestling news: Steve and Larson’s Going in Raw (and Steve Here’s Coming out Raw), and Littlekuriboh’s The Mark Remark.

The Resurrection of Jake the Snake is both an inspiring and cautionary tale of the once-great wrestler Jake “The Snake” Roberts, a man long past his prime wrestling with some of the worst demons man can fight, and how with the help of some old friends, he came back from the brink of self-destruction.

“Diamond” Dallas Page has long since been retired, and is known for many a great turn.  The great heel/face turn on Hall and Nash back in the reign of the nWo.  His trademark hand signal.  Basically, he’s what every “good guy” wrestler is supposed to be (here’s lookin’ at you John Cena).  He was both the good guy we wanted, but also the bad guy we needed.  He was a great wrestler.

One of his mentors was Jake Roberts.  Roberts gave Page a chance when no one was really thinking of giving him a second glance.  After retiring, Page made it his goal to be successful and eventually repay those debts he felt he had to the guy who believed in him when he was but a fledgling.

When Page finds Roberts, he sees a man who’s broken in too many ways.  Substance abuse, a disregarded family, isolated from the community, and just all in all miserable with himself.  Roberts turns to Page for help, knowing that this is his one last shot at getting back to the life he once had, and the one he feels he deserves.  He wants to be someone that his children can look up to now.

We go through the film watching as Page, Roberts and the crew go through tough times.  Roberts demons get the better of him from time to time.  One can’t help but feel that the message of the movie is that recovery from substance abuse and poor lifestyle choices is something that takes a life time.  One doesn’t wake up one day to find that they have no craving for alcohol and never will again.  It just doesn’t happen.  The bad choices we make haunt us.  They creep into our lives and become one with us.  To fight means to make it a part of your life to keep fighting.  That’s what it means to be somebody.  It’s not easy, that’s the whole point.  Otherwise nobody would have any problems and this would be a great world.

Overall, it’s a pretty decent story, and we watch a man try his best to pull together the pieces of his life and make something of himself so that he can die without regrets.  He just wants to be a guy that can look at himself every day and say, “Hey. You did something great once. You’ve got to be good enough to deserve that for the rest of your life.  Not in the eyes of everyone else, but for yourself.”

That’s actually one thing that I think the movie touched on briefly but I felt was a big deal.  Jake lived through his entire career thinking about what others felt about him, but never about himself.  That has to be a pretty scary life.  He had an intense career (he literally carried live snakes into a rickety ring and through them at people).  Like, seriously?  Yeah.  But, I think that’s insane, and when I heard Jake say that, I really began to feel for him.  It was the moment in the film when I realized that I could never, ever imagine how we must feel.  Not in a thousand years.

Here’s something nice to send you off, Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ theme, “Snake Bit”

Alrighty folks, thanks for sticking around.  Have a great day!

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