Blu-ray Review: Rumble

Blu-ray Reviews, Reviews, Top Story

Rumble is a by-the-books movie through and through. The story is predictable and its target audience is parents who are looking for something that’ll keep the attention of their kids for 90-minutes. Is that a bad thing? Not at all. While average across the board, Rumble is enjoyable enough that once it’s finished you don’t regret having spent time watching it – though you also aren’t rushing out to tell others to watch it either.

This may sound like an odd endorsement, but I’m just trying to lay out exactly what Rumble is and that is a family movie that tries to have heart, but lacks the character development when it comes to any character involved to ever, truly get the audience to connect emotionally. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what’s missing, but the gist of the story is that the world is full of both humans and giant monsters, and the giant monsters exist to wrestle one another for the entertainment of humans.

That sounds like they’re prisoners, but they’re not, as each city has its own monster representative, much like any sport that actually exists does. The town of Stoker is where we meet our protagonist, Winnie (voiced by Geraldine Viswanathan), who is the daughter of Jimbo Coyle, one of the most famous monster managers in the history of the sport. He managed Rayburn, who is considered the greatest monster champion of all time. Both, however, went missing while traveling overseas and were never heard from again.

Now, even by-the-books standards of scriptwriting would see this come back around in some way where we possibly find out what happened to Jimbo, or that there was something more sinister behind the disappearance; however, that’s not the case. That’s not a spoiler, it’s just that aside from the initial mention of their disappearance we never delve back into that again, despite the fact that our two main characters are the daughter and son of Jimbo and Rayburn.

Yes, not mentioned yet is Rayburn Jr. (voiced by Will Arnett), who Winnie finds down on his luck and wants to become his manager. I’m skipping a beat here, as the town of Stoker did have a monster named Tentacular (voiced by Terry Crews), but he chooses to leave the town for bigger and better things at the start of the film after becoming champion. His leaving the city causes a massive loss in revenue, and the mayor says there’s no choice but to sell their stadium (which is named after Winnie’s dad Jimbo) so the town can stay afloat. That is, until Winnie says she’ll find them a new monster, and that new monster she hopes will be Rayburn Jr.

This is all paint-by-numbers stuff so far, and it doesn’t really change. While I was expecting them to delve a little deeper into the daddy issues that both characters have from the sudden loss of their father figures, that moment never comes. I mean, there are brief moments where it’s touched upon and you could argue they don’t need to go any deeper than they do and you’d be right if you’re okay with there being a lack of connection with the audience; but as a whole it just feels like more could’ve been done with the bond these two share that would’ve added some needed emotional weight to the story.

As a whole, Rumble is a movie you can put on and your kids will likely enjoy, and you may enjoy it also. It’s just not a movie that will resonate on any level once it’s finished, which is unfortunate, as it did have the playbook to deliver a stronger story, it just doesn’t follow through and in the end the movie ends up a draw over a knockout winner.

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

Blu-ray Video and Audio Review

Rumble looks beautiful in its stylistic 1080p presentation. Like all animated films, Rumble has made its own stylistic choices to bring the characters to life, and this Blu-ray transfer of the film showcases all the details from character to scenic in every way the format can. The monster battles are great, and give off huge boxing match/wrestling showcase vibes with flashing lights, loads of fans in the crowds and the likes and everything looks fluid and sharp here. Top tier presentation and transfer here that fans will enjoy.

On the audio side of things we’ve got the usual DTS 5.1 Master Audio lossless track, and it’s doing the job on all fronts. The score and soundtrack are both great and shine through nicely here. We’ve also got plenty of dialogue that is never a battle to hear amongst the constant barrage of sound effects that are also tuned incredibly well. All in all both the video and audio side is wonderfully handled, which isn’t surprising.

Special Features:

The Super-Secret Playbook – Here we’ve got a quick breakdown of Winnie’s playbook, which she inherited from her dad. It’s just a bit of extra fluff here, even though the playbook surprisingly plays an incredibly small role in the film compared to what you’d think would be the case, at least early on.

The Mon-Stars of Wrestling – This featurette comes in at just under 5-minutes in length and is a quick profile of the World Monster Wrestling superstars that we see in the film.

Salsa with Rayburn Jr. – Here’s another quick featurette that just hits over 2-minutes in length, and we get to learn how salsa dancing is beneficial to a better life.

Massive Monsters, Wrestling Moves and Dazzling Dances – This five-minute featurette looks at the character design of various characters in the film.

Four Rounds in the Animation Ring – The shortest of the special features comes in at just under 2-minutes in length and takes a look at the film’s storyboards and how they compare to what we eventually see on the silver screen.

Deleted Scenes – We’ve got a handful of deleted scenes here for those who are interested in checking them out.

Paramount Pictures Presents Rumble. Directed by: Hamish Grieve. Written by: Matt Leiberman. Based on the Graphic Novel “Monster on the Hill” by Rob Harrell. Starring: Geraldine Viswanathan, Will Arnett, Stephen A. Smith, Terry Crews, Jimmy Tatro, Tony Shalhoub, Tony Danza, Ben Schwartz, Michael Buffer, Rebecca Quinn, Joe Anoa’i. Running time: 95 minutes. Rating: PG. Blu-ray Released: Oct. 18, 2022.

Brendan Campbell was here when Inside Pulse Movies began, and he’ll be here when it finishes - in 2012, when a cataclysmic event wipes out the servers, as well as everyone else on the planet other than John Cusack and those close to him. Brendan’s the #1 supporter of Keanu Reeves, a huge fan of popcorn flicks and a firm believer that sheer entertainment can take a film a long way. He currently resides in Canada, where, for reasons stated above, he’s attempting to get closer to John Cusack.