THERE are only so many boxing movies the public can stomach. That’s why Hollywood has resorted to making entire movies about these niche sports.
Armwrestling – Over The Top (1987)
A movie that seems created by a Hollywood executive throwing a dart at a board of A-list actors, and another dart at a board of random sports. There’s no other way to explain away a movie where Sylvester Stallone plays a truck driver who competes in the World Arm-Wrestling Championship. Everyone was at least spared a movie about marsh snorkeling starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
NASCAR Days of Thunder (1990)
Although very popular among American rednecks, NASCAR is a niche sport in the UK. If Brits want to see overpaid drivers racing endlessly around boring tracks, they’ll stick with F1 and pretend to enjoy it. This blockbuster dud only has a 38 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so at least it’s more entertaining than watching Lewis Hamilton.
Ice Hockey – The Mighty Ducks (1992)
Another popular North American sport that has a hell of a following in the UK, which is odd as the ensuing violence would be well received. Audiences in this country were disappointed to see that the film was about Emilio Estevez coaching a group of young hockey players, and not genetically enhanced ducks going on a rampage as the title suggests.
Bobsleigh – Cool Runnings (1993)
The cult classic loved by all white students with dreadlocks, Cool runs tells the story of the Jamaican bobsled team who competed in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. And just like the real Winter Olympics, this movie is less entertaining than you remember it being and you’ll never get through the whole thing.
Chess – The Queen’s Gambit (2020)
No, this Netflix series isn’t technically a movie, but chess shouldn’t be recognized as a sport because you never had to change into your PE kit to play it. Just very popular because people had everything else to do due to Covid, The Queen’s Gambit got an entire generation to try the game before they said “f**k this” after five minutes of boring play.
Baseball – Field of Dreams (1989)
Baseball is rounders for Americans who haven’t grown up and transitioned to a real adult sport like football or dog racing. That could be why Field of dreams has failed to leave a lasting cultural impact in the UK, although Kevin Costner’s annoying-to-watch-face must surely take some of the blame too.