I know that a lot of people find Max Landis to be annoying, and while I can see where that comes from, there’s one thing that is hard to deny about the guy: he gets fiction. His dissertations about characters and storytelling are thought-provoking, insightful and very often humorously truthful. His short film about the death and return of Superman (The Death and Return of Superman, duh) is one of the most accessible pieces of comic book scrutiny ever produced, and it happens to have cameos with tons of fun people in it. Now, Landis has taken the same format and applied it to one of his other passions, professional wrestling (specifically, the storyline of Triple H), in the new short film Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling. And it’s fantastic.
If you didn’t enjoy the hyperactive sweded style that was put forth in The Death and Return of Superman, then don’t even bother watching or commenting. If you want a brief and chaotic history on a twenty year-old story that is told with affectionate parodying, this is for you. It’s amazing that Landis can find such depth and intricacy in a sport that most people write off as childish and haphazardly produced. And by the end, we see that the journey of Triple H is just as impacting and tumultuous as Walter White. Yup.
I almost wish Landis would stop making real movies and devote his career to bigger and crazier versions of these oral recreations. What other comic book story lines could he tackle? (Crisis on Infinite Earths please) What about trying to summarize an entire franchise of films? Hell, how about an unofficial version of the never-to-be-produced Chronicle 2?