Andrew reviews wrestling legend Jake the Snake Roberts' second chance at life.
|Ride the snake. He's long.|
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As previously mentioned, The Resurrection of Jake the Snake functions as a sort of Celebrity Rehab for troubled wrestlers and later in the program Diamond Dallas Page and Jake reach out to Scott Hall (aka, Razor Ramon) who himself has spent more time wrestling with his own alcohol driven demons than in the ring. Because cameras are fixed on Jake the Snake at all times, including moments when he comes dangerously close to going off the rails, we are witnessing a tragic and deeply disturbed man uncork all of his inner turmoil before the camera. Those who recall Jake's uncomfortable encounters with his daughter will no doubt see how much it inspired Randy the Ram (Mickey Rourke) in Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler, with much of the dialogue lifted straight from Jake's mouth. For those who thought Randy was in dire straits, that honestly pales in comparison to the rock bottom Jake strikes like an anvil dropped from a skyscraper. Some detractors have argued the piece is just as exploitative of Jake's sickness as Beyond the Mat but where that film merely stood from afar and looked on at the man's suffering, the figures in The Resurrection of Jake the Snake actively lend a helping hand at any given moment. In between the focus on Jake's recovery are comments from other wrestlers and former commentators who are torn between contempt for Jake's sad state and realizing the man needs help irrespective of his transgressions.
It would seem like there's a happy ending for the troubled yet still enormously talented and gifted performer, but even after he gets clean, he relapses at least two to three more times thereafter. Yes Jake the Snake clearly wants to heal the wounds he irresponsibly wrought, but you never know what's going on in his head and how long he'll stay on the straight and narrow.
In the end however, whether or not The Resurrection of Jake the Snake keeps Jake clean, what it does manage to do however is shed light on many wrestlers whose bodies have long given out on them and the only medication for a physical performer without the aid of health care is to drink or abuse drugs. Moreover, it manages to make you care for Jake's plight and sympathize with many others just like him who are as responsible for themselves as the industry which rose them to stardom only to kick them out the back exit door and leave them for dead. Why see a film about a once great entertainer's complete and utter downfall with all the emotional and psychological baggage in full naked view? Well, if nothing else, The Resurrection of Jake the Snake reminds viewers, fans and newcomers alike, that if you can fall flat on your face as hard as Jake the Snake has, you can just as easily work to stand up tall on your own two feet again.
|Fetch me a sammich and|
a cold one.
- Andrew Kotwicki