Movie Review from the Future: American Gladiators: The Movie

By 2012 Gary

Gladiators ready!? Moviegoers ready?! YES AND YES! The TV smash hit from the late 80s/early 90s and the not so smashing 2007 tv show are taking their atlashperes from NBC studios to the big screen. The result is the best surprisingly tender and action-filled TV-to-film series reboots since Star Trek (2009).

The movie is a fast-paced action-filled romp that is easily on par with the likes of Running Man and Total Recall. For those people expecting a two hour episode of the beloved show, they will first be shocked and then realize the untapped depth of a real world American Gladitors. The CG is absolutely stunning from the flaming tennis balls to the insane wall climbing scene during the film's third act.

Everything about this movie is pitch-perfect....Moby's remix of the original American Gladitor theme to the original Nitro's (Danny Lee "Nitro" Clark) appropriate and heart-felt cameo. Every decision made for this movie is done with the utmost respect and understanding to its source material. Dan Carr and John Ferraro the show's/movie's creators deserve a huge pat on the back by the Gladiamanics around the world, and all fans can let out a collective sigh of relief that this classic has not been compromised in a time where it's common to see cash-in remakes. Yes, American Gladiators: the Movie is that GOOD.


The movie takes place in America in the year 2022. The country has been overthrown by a group of oppressive genetically superior humans know only as a "THE GLADIATORS". The competition replaces standard democratic elections and the Gladiators in the interest of "fairness" allow one contender a chance to enter the Gladiator Council once a week. The writers' decision to make the titular motley crew tbe the villains, I have to admit, made me nervous. Within 20 minutes of sitting in the theater you will realize why Dan Carr invented this IP and you did not.

The Gladiators are some the most thought provoking villians in any movie...ever. The moral implications of their modern Darwinism will have you and your friends debating eugenics long after the credits roll, and all the way to the book store to pick through A Brave New World for answers. I might suggest brushing up on your bio-ethics before trying to intellectually tackle Nitro's (John Cena) speech at the Tribunal Eliminator in the closing minutes of this heart pounding roller coaster ride of a movie.

Christian Bale as William Witcunthem the retired Army SGT, is not without praise. The fact that the creators actually did a real season of American Gladiators (2010) just so Bale could participate and ultimately win was worth the cost and rating nose drive NBC took. Bale is a true actor in every sense of the word. William is loved by the crowd from the very beginning, from his speech to his fans before entering the winner-take-all competition. This will lift the spirits and melt the hearts of any working-class Joe Sixpack. Witcuntham is not a one dimensional character by any stretch of the term and the audience's moral compass is called into question when William's ongoing struggle with spousal abuse and PTST is revelved.

The action never takes a back seat to the story. In fact it drives the atlasphere that is this movie, and the story is sitting on it's lap helping to steer right for the audience's psyche. Like I stated before the action is amazing. The martial arts during the events are spectacular and the CG is the best I have ever seen.

By the end of the movie, my elementary concepts of Good vs Evil were all but destroyed. The action on the screen was stunning (the digital 3-D works well), but the real action was going on in my mind.

Everything I thought I loved; blue collar joes, good old fashion work, democracy, my hatred for eugenics and my love for the military, were all called into question and ultimately done away with. The ideas that American Gladiators gives us is a better and new way of thinking about national and global dominance and the weakness of the everyday man. This movie is a pugel stick to the head of society; telling us to not simply try and make it to the end, but to raise your metaphorical tennis ball gun to the target above your oppressor's head..and fire. Humans must cast away past contender's ideas of right and wrong and start hanging tough with the gladiators of the future.


  1. If this movie ends up being as good as you say it is the it will surely be a smash hit and will gun down Citizen Kane with a flurry of tennis balls to be crowned the AFI's #1 greatest film ever.

  2. wow. guess i have to wait to kill myself until after 2012 now!

  3. This was amazing. "pugel stick to the head of society" - brilliant.
    I can't wait for my 35-year old self to take his 11-year old son/daughter to this movie!!!