Reviews

Murderball

4

"It used to be called Murderball, but you can't market that to corporate sponsors." Mark Zupan there, the spiky star of Murderball, Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro's take on Olympic-level quadriplegic rugby.

Think a doc dealing with disabled guys playing sport is going to be soft and slushy? Think again. This is a furious treatise on living life so that every day counts, whether you're wheelchair-bound or not. As Team USA's Zupan smashes his chair into opponents while cursing his arch-rival, Team Canada coach Joe Soares, you come to understand that these guys are not to be pitied. Rather, they're to be admired and revered as heroes.

It's a philosophy clear on the DVD's daft chat-track - Zupan and teammates Scott Hogsett and Andy Cohn rambling on about sex, death and opening envelopes. Very difficult if you're in a wheelchair, apparently. Slightly more serious is the filmmakers' gab - Shapiro, Rubin and producer Jeffrey Mandel discussing just what it was like to share the lives of such down-to-earth characters. Then it's back to the silliness as the Jackass team hang out with Team USA. And get them drunk. You don't know funny until you've eyeballed pissed guys wrestling in wheelchairs. Trailers, a couple of docs and a characteristically intense interview with coach Soares round out a medal-winning disc. Play ball.

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