Check out Part I here!
Check out Part II here!
Check out Part III here!
No Holds Barred: The Film: Act I
As in the script, the film makes sure the first image we see is that of our hero, but unlike the script there is now a voice-over of two announcers, bickering, and discussing how this is special when one Jake Bullet will challenge the World Wrestling Federation champion for the belt. The two announcers are easily identifiable as “Mean Gene” Okerlund and Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and we are already in a bit of a weird territory. In the script, the champion is not that of the WWF. Neither are the announcers identified. By introducing Ventura and Okerlund as themselves and setting the film in the universe where WWF exists we are confusing things. Rather than set in a fictional movie universe where WWF is wholly absent, we are now in an alternate universe where Hulk Hogan does not exist, but everything else associated with him does. Adding to the weird feel are the colors of the hero. Instead of Hogan’s red and yellow, Ripper is in blue and white. So… there is a Hulk but he is not Hulk, but he is played by Hulk but nearly everything else is the same. And all this in the first two minutes of the film.
As for the first shot of our hero, it is him, silhouetted by white light, shaking his face and something falling off his jowls. It looks like drool. And that is not a pleasant thing to first see when we meet our hero. It is actually meant to be water. For in the script, if you recall, there was an entire ritual of cross and hands intertwined, and we were left to infer this is what Ripper does before every big match. Including the scoop of water from basin into the face. Well, all of that is now gone, including the basin and the water in it and instead we just get Hulk Hogan appear to be slobbering. Not a great look.
One other twist in the film is that Ripper is no more. He is now simply Rip. And while IMDB indicates he is Rip Thomas, I can assure you that not once will anyone in the film mention his last name. He is just known by his first name, as he was in the March script, but now that name has been shortened. This makes for an easier chant of the crowd – “Rip” as opposed to the two syllable “Rip-per,” but otherwise seems a bit goofy. I guess it meant something to someone, perhaps Vince? But when Rip enters the arena he encourages a two syllable chant of “Rip ‘Em” thus nullifying the whole thing. Oh well.
Rip walks into the arena and fans react. The fans are excited to see Rip, and they are pressed to the guard rails of the narrow aisle of the arena a bit too closely than WWF would allow in real life. Hmm. Either this was filmed at a regular WWF wrestling show after wrestling matches and extras were told to crowd the aisle, or they are crowding because we are in a tiny arena and they are preventing us from seeing how small it really is. Right now I am favoring the second option, because there is some really weird spatial configuration with the fans’ placement. That kind of voodoo is more typically done to hide a small crowd.
Awkwardly dubbed lines alert us that Randy and Ripper are brothers and they have grown closer since the passing of their parents. Wait, what? Apparently someone read the script and decided that folks might want to know where Randy’s dad and mom are after he had been crippled and decided that they had to explain it. That one just reads like a weird note from a producer, where instead of focusing on how the entire film makes not a whole lot of sense they concentrate their brain power on trying to make sure everyone understands what happened to the one minor potential plot gap that no one cares about. Good job, film. You explained one of the questions I never bothered to ask.
The film cuts to Ventura and Okerlund at ringside (not really, but the insert of them imposed over a cheering crowd is not as awkward as it could have been), as both men do their best to build up the challenger to WWF Champion Rip – Jake Bullet, played by an embarrassed to be here Bill Eadie. Eadie was asked to come up with a new character to portray Jake Bullet and buy his own gear for it. He kept the Demolition black trunks and changed his appearance thusly: mascara and lots of it, feathering his hair up. Even with Ventura and Okerlund telling us how much of a great challenger he is to Rip, he does not appear to pose much of a threat to our hero. As Rip walks into the ring, he rips off his T-shirt, further confusing the Hogan-Rip dynamic in the heads of little kids everywhere. And as he does, I pause the film and spot all those empty seats. Ouch, that’s a big no-no in WWF world. These are not WWF cameramen then. Also, I count less than twenty rows from ringside to the top of the curtains here and the layout seems to be mid ’80s multi-purpose mid-major arena in the Midwest. Hmm. IMDB says this film was partially shot in Topeka, Kansas, and I think the Landon Arena would fit.
Suddenly the camera pulls back to take in the ring diagonally from ten rows back, and the lighting completely changes. There were painfully obviously two shoots done at different times and the footage was awkwardly spliced. These are simple things to do and hard to screw up. The technical failures of this film are present before the opening credits stopped rolling. Bullet and Rip wrestle a bit with Bullet suddenly gaining advantage and going for a pin early only for Rip to kick out. The crowd is meant to boo, but no one clued them in, or the sound did not travel well with only a few hundred extras in an arena seating 5,000, so they had sweeten the audio so it sounds like we get a chorus of boos. Rip’s trainer Charlie reacts to the champ nearly losing by raising his hands and covering his head and “acting” concerned, and it’s bad acting, and that is terrible. The actor playing Charlie is not being asked here to dig deep into the well of pain of his soul and react to a scene of horror, he has to act concerned his protégé is going to lose. That’s not a hard emotion to display. Not to be outdone, Rip’s brother Randy also acts as if he saw a burger on sale after he already ate one. The actor portraying Randy was 24 years young at the time of filming, but looks only slightly younger. If I had not read the script, I would have no idea he is supposed to be 18 here.
Cut to Brell watching the bout on TV in… well it doesn’t look like a conference room or a nerve center of anything. It looks like an executive lounge. There are no desks, only leather chairs cluttered in the middle of the small room, with three leather armchairs abutting the wall. As in the script, Brell thinks the competition might self-destruct here. In the ring, Bullet has locked in a sleeper hold and Okerlund assures us that Bullet is moments away from winning, a shot of Bullet having the hold on cinched tight is framed by empty seats. Man, did anyone not watch the dailies and say, “guys we need to have everyone on one side and then we can film everything facing one side.” This is some lazy work by the folks behind the lens. As Bullet applies the pressure, Randy shoots the left-handed “Rip ‘Em” sign at the fast fading Rip. Rip looks down at his own left hand does the “Rip ‘Em” sign to himself and breaks Bullet’s hold and turns the tide. The cheering people give him the Rip ‘Em sign, most of them doing it wrongly, and you notice bored kids in yellow T-shirts staring blankly ahead in the same shot. I am guessing those were the wrestling fans who showed up to see Hogan in their red and yellow Hulkamania T-shirts, but were told they had to turn their shirts inside out if they wanted to stay for the shoot. The rest of the extras were gifted black WrestleMania IV “What the world is watching” T-shirts, which fill the arena. Amusingly the man front and center among the fans and screaming the loudest for Rip is a big fella in a red “Shit Happens” trucker hat. Things you would never see on a WWF broadcast, ever. Man, I don’t mean to harp on this, but this movie so far is showing less diligence about camera work and who does what in front of it than a bottom of the barrel wrestling show on TV. Jake Bullet tries to attack Rip, but Rip is not feeling anything at the moment, energized as he is by the fans and he sends Bullet into the ropes and then catches him with a big boot, which is shown from four different angles (all of them showing different lighting, from the different shoots). Then Rip gets ready to hit Bullet with his in-movie finisher, but before he does, he shoots the “Rip ‘Em” sign to the crowd with his left hand… and his right. Whoa there, movie. What are you doing? Have we forsaken the “always left” thing? Does that mean the paralysis is now not going to be in the movie? Or are we coming up with a different sign. Also, it appears Bullet’s trunks are now dark blue. I can’t tell if it is due to lighting or if he wore two different outfits for two different (at least) shoots, but suspect it is lighting because Bill Eadie was a stickler for making things look professional. Rip hits Bullet with his bomber and pins him. Ventura says he can’t believe Rip did it again and talks about the place going crazy and pandemonium.
Back at Brell’s evil lounge, Brell repeats Ventura’s lines in anger and throws his remote at the corner plant. A pan back shows he was not in fact watching one TV but seven, with the wrestling bout on the main screen and four smaller ones flanking it on the right and two on the left. Hang on, the whole point of having different screens was that Brell could compare and monitor things on different networks. What is the point of showing the same thing on all seven monitors? Incensed, Brell throws his remote at a fichus plant and that causes all the monitors to turn to static. That seems weird, and that’s not how remotes work. Brell stands and glowers about the room of seated executives. Brell stalks the lounge, talking about being last in the ratings. Brell turns to face the executives and demands “I want that jock-ass on this network!” And thus the term “jock-ass” enters pro-wrestling lore. Who came up with it? I know not. But it is one of three or four things for which this film is known, and not seeing it in the March draft of the script confused me. Perhaps one day someone will find out who decided to use that bizarre term of abuse in the film. Was it perhaps meant to be a one-time line and said as two words “jock” and “ass” in reference to Rip being both an ass and a jock as far as Brell was concerned, and Kurt Fuller (chewing the scenery without even asking for any condiments) just said it as one word and all laughed and decided to roll with it? I fear I have not the answer. One person who read my treatment of this film flubbed the line “jackass” or perhaps it was in the script and was a typo and all had a great time? Once more, I have no good answers, only questions.
Brell wants his execs to come up with some answers and stalks off. In the ring, Howard Finkel announces the WWF champion Rip and Rip calls for Charlie and Randy to join him. Randy leaps into his arms and Rip catches him one armed, then sets him down and Randy shoots the crowd the “Rip ‘Em” sign… with both hands. Okay, so that concept is now truly dead. A shame. I rather liked how it was setup in the script. As Rip celebrates, Charlie holds up Rip’s belt and it is the Winged Eagle WWF world championship design which debuted in 1988. The original belt was on black leather and here it is on white. Charlie holds up the belt like a man who has never held a championship belt before in his entire life, letting straps fall and twisting the left plate up and to the side. Oh Charlie.
Cut to a TV truck driving up to a corporate glass tower, with the logo of the “World Television Network” on its side. Followed by a cut to inside the board room of Brell, who is ready to hear proposals of his executives. Whoa there, we lost the entire Randy wrestling in high school scene, and with it Randy’s harem and Rip having to teach young hothead Randy to calm down. And the scene will not pop-up elsewhere in the movie. It is simply gone. Did someone read the script and went, “perhaps teenage girls should not be uncrossing their legs in a Hulk Hogan movie?” If so, then that person gets a prize for trying to bring the film closer to Hogan’s core audience. However, lost with that scene is Randy showing off he can wrestle, which helps explain how he could dodge, duck, dip, drive and dodge away from Zeus until he couldn’t in their Act II confrontation. Hmm. Let’s see where this develops. Also, let us be on the lookout for Randy’s High School Sweethearts. There is a scene where Craig spots Zeus on TV and calls Randy over, and Randy is hanging out with his harem. If that scene exists in the movie, then the removal of Randy and the blonde with the uncrossing legs was done after it was already filmed. If the Sweethearts are gone completely, then it means the removal was done at script level and never filmed in the first place.
Brell talks about how he took over the network a few months ago and wants to take it to the top. That’s a different time period than one given in the script. Also, Brell once more calls Rip “jock-ass,” so Vince was all-in on that line. Brell talks about how each time Rip wrestles, his network loses ratings. He scans the executives, who avoid eye contact and settles on Ms. Tidings, who gives a martyred sigh. This scene captures toxic corporate management work environment to perfection. Everyone is so glad they did not get picked on, but at the same time dreads they might get called next. And the new script wins points further, by having Brell saying Tidings had survived his little purge and now he wants her to reward his faith in her. This is much smarter than anything I read in the March draft, and handles exposition better. No way had Hogan or McMahon written these lines. Tidings stands, braces and talks about a high-concept sitcom, and gets summarily dismissed by Brell. I see we have changed the Ted Turner “colorize black and white films” jibe to something more neutral.
Brell circles the board room and as executives literally duck their heads to avoid eye contact completely. Brell stops before one executive, who braces, but Brell turns around and points his finger at Ordway (changed from Orbach, because I can just see some producer having a moment and saying that would be a better name) and asks, “What about you, Ordway?” Ordway stands and drowning asks, not tells, “Could you see another prime-time game show? They sell?” Notable in this shot is the shirt of the character Ordway near his belt – it is bunched up, badly, because the actor filmed the scene of standing up to talk to Brell repeatedly in multiple takes and his shirt got wrinkled as a result and no one on set gave a shit, because they had more scenes to film. What we are seeing here and what we will continue to see is very illustrative of a TV vs. feature film ethos in 1988, and why those involved in films looked down upon TV production, from which most of the behind the camera folk responsible for this fine film came from. In a feature film, you do the scene until you get it right, so you set it up to be perfect, because you have time. In a TV production, you got two weeks, if that, to bang through 47 minutes of material (at most), and since folks will see it on a tiny screen of their TVs, just get rolling already, we got more episodes to put in the can. Once again, I am not calling the director a hack, but this is the kind of stuff that you wouldn’t see in a Stallone flick, even at his “Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot” nadir. Going into the production of the film, Vince took the reins, as he wanted to control Hogan and to also show folks he can make a film. Well, Vince knows nothing about film making. He may think he is making movies in WWF, but he’s not. Certainly not in 1988. And he does not understand the finer point of film production or the politics of Hollywood. He went in like a bull in a china shop and scared off major studios, saying he will front the money and then sell a finished product. So we have an independent film, with a first time producer, a novice director from the world of TV and Hogan, fresh off one bit part in a film prior and nothing else. The blind are leading the blind here. But let’s not make a mountain out of a wrinkled shirt. There is more goofy stuff later.
Brell mocks the “sell” line and flings open the poster on the table, it is that of Hulk Hogan, made up to look like Ripper, but it is 100% a Hogan poster. Brell demands his execs go out and get Ripper, and the scene plays out as it did in the March script. Brell breaks the geode and demands Rip be bought for him. Cut to Rip arriving at some cookie cutter corporate center in a limo. Because Rip is a nice fella, he thanks the limo driver for giving him a lift. Rip here rocks his business wear attire: a red and black spandex muscle T- with a red weight belt, black pants and a black doo rag, making poor WWF fans think they are in a Mirror Universe once more. It is that jarring.
The cookie cutter corporate center turns out to be WTN headquarters, as apparently Rip is already here to talk to Brell. We are making the pacing feel a bit snappier here so far so I am not complaining, just pointing out the differences from the script. In the script, we first meet Sam and then have a Brell-Rip meeting. Here the order is reversed. Brell is with Ordway and Unger (the latter as not yet named by the film) and he meets Rip and shakes his hand. When an excited Ordway goes to shake Rip’s hand next, Brell steps and puts his second hand on Rip’s arm to power shake once more, cutting off Ordway and waving him off. A disappointed Ordway slinks off, showing how much he wanted to meet the champ. That’s actually a neat little moment, and though played broad I enjoyed it. Also, that is not in the script, nor would it have been, so this is the director having a bit of fun and letting Kurt Fuller and “Ordway” Charles Levin have something to do on the set. As Brell kisses Rip’s ass, Hogan tilts his head to the side and raises an eyebrow to show he is above such foolishness. This is an old trick used by terrible actors to appear that they are acting. Before Chris Rock figured out how to act, he used to do it in his films all the time, usually followed by an attempt at a disarming smile.
Brell leads Rip to a priceless chair: “You like the chair? Crafted for men of great stature. Louis XIV. Cost me a fortune.” Ripper sits down in it and it creaks, and I eagerly wait for furniture expert Ripper to educate us it is a Louis XV and that it is a fake. And I wait. And wait. And am left waiting. It never comes. The whole idea of Rip being a furniture expert is excised from the film. Well now, did we dial down the vanity, or did Hulk Hogan think knowing furniture would make him appear less manly? Either way, Rip no longer recognizes fake antiques by a mere glance. A word about the room where Brell makes his pitch. The set design and decorations all speak to a Chinese motif, but the furniture is French, either showing Brell is a doof with no understanding of how things should flow and buys everything or this is actually someone’s office and they went with it, or the set decorator and the script supervisor were not on the same page, or nobody bothered to adjust the lines once they had the set. I lean to the latter two scenarios.
Speaking of scenarios, the rest of the scene plays out exactly as it did in the March draft, including Rip stuffing the check down Brell’s mouth. This actually caused a situation on the set, because Hogan not up on the whole “acting” thing, literally crumpled up the check and shoved it down Kurt Fuller’s mouth, causing him to choke and the director to yell “Cut.” A stunned Hogan was then told that he should not have done that, as this is the movie world and one does not literally shove something a man’s throat and cause him to choke. An apologetic Hogan talked to Fuller afterwards, who laughed the whole thing off.
As Rip walks off, he turns at Ordway, Unger and Brell and growls and does a “Rip ‘Em” sign. This brings up a motif that the script had for a bit and the movie really indulges, Hulk Hogan making animals sounds and growling and breathing hard. In the script, it happened three-four times. In the film, it is closer to four dozen. In fact, in certain parts of dialogue, Hogan will just start making noises to signal emotion. It is… curious.
Brell calls the garage and I glance at the clock. We are about 13 minutes in. The wrestling match ended five minutes into the film. That means we are setting up the confrontation with the four goons and the limo driver to happen at the 15 mark or so. This makes sense. In a popcorn flick, the rule is that you must have something action-oriented happen every ten minutes or your audience gets bored. A still annoyed Rip fumes in the backseat of the limo as a new and evil limo driver (mirrored shades) drives him off. They pass a sign that says Paces Ferry Rd SE and I think I know where they filmed the WTN headquarters – 2410 Paces Ferry Road. That pointless bit of trivia out of the way, Rip notices the limo going the wrong way, the limo driver ignores him and blocks off Rip and locks in the doors and seals off the partitions. Rip starts banging on the partitions and the sheer force of his blows make the limo swerve wildly. Uh, okay. So we lost the bit where Rip knows antique furniture, but he seemed to have gained more physical prowess and growls like an animal. I am not sure that is a good trade off from the dumb Act I read in the March draft, movie. Rip beats on the car from inside and this causes dents on the outside, because, ya know, Rip, and also because the poor limo now hits trash cans, buildings, other cars and yet keeps on ticking, as the evil limo driver keeps driving. Ripper keeps smacking the car some more and that makes the limo driver hit a security guard booth made entire out of particle board that collapses into jigsaw puzzles pieces of wood, because that’s exactly how physics work. The cars hit and threatened by the limo are all late ’70s Fords, but the evil limo itself is a stretched Caddy and is at least from the early ’80s, though it may be a custom job since the trunk is not really Caddy like and leans more towards a Lincoln.
The bouncing limo arrives at its final destination – the abandoned warehouse district, which exists in every movie town. There three thugs await. In the script there four. Each one wears different type of clothing that is very visually distinct: there is blazer fella, cheap leather jacket and what may or may not be a cardigan. The camera does quick cuts so we do not see what weapons they exactly have. As they surround the vehicle, Rip growls (oh movie) and looks about and spots the paneled roof of the limo. He then explodes out of it like the Incredible Hulk as really strange jaunty song starts to play on the soundtrack. Rip growls at the men some more and starts beating on them, one by one, as they patiently wait to get their turn. A minute into the fight I realize there were in fact four, the camera cuts just obscured him. The action is absolutely pedestrian and lazily shot. Part of the problem is that Rip is nigh invulnerable and we just saw him torpedo through the metal and glass roof of the limo with no ill effects. At one point in the fight, one of the goons smashes a pipe into Rip’s back and he falls belly first into a “grease stain” on the garage floor (literally hitting the mark designated for him to assist in the fight choreography) and he just sort emits a “whoa” the way you would after downing a soda drink that was not as fizzy as you expected, and pops right up. And when I say he gets hit by a pipe, I mean he gets walloped by a pipe the size of a Scottish Claymore, and it does nothing to slow him down. It is hard to have any feeling of jeopardy and the happy little song does not help. It means the fight is meant to be taken like a goofy little thing and we are meant to ooh and aah as it transpires, but nothing much transpires, so without the drama or the giddy fun, we are just marking time as Rip growls, “whoas” and hits people. At one point, one of the goons punches Rip right in the faces and Rip flares his nostrils, growls, bugs out his eyes and wails on him a bit. I am not entertained.
Then, chuckling to himself all the while, Rip stalks the driver, who is pinned down by the bodies Rip has thrown into the car. Rip drags the driver out of the car, while making faces and noises that are between Popeye the Sailor Man and Curly from the Three Stooges, while also growling. The driver makes yelping sounds and we cut to the seat of his pants which are stained brown and are leaking, not as if he has in fact crapped his pants, but as if he sat in a giant pan full of motor oil for three minutes and only then stood up. In the script, this scene was goofy, in the film this scene is memorably bizarre and became the film’s calling card. It is the one piece of dialogue all who have seen the film recall instantly even years later when discussing the film. I am of course talking about the one and the only “Dukey” scene.
Ripper growls some more and then flaring his nostrils does a “Fee-fie-foe-fum” look about, his eyes threatening to pop out of his sockets and demands to know what is that smell. The driver ekes out, “Dukey” and unlike the script, here Rip growls out, “Dukey?” in return and end scene.
In another glass tower that looks just like all others, some suit tells Rip that he is getting a new account executive – Sam. Rip, wearing the same black and red as he did in the limo scene meets Sam, who is get this – a girl! – and she is named Samantha N. Moore. Oh movie. Your love of stupid names is almost endearing. Rip gets completely tongue tied at the appearance of a hot girl and turns to the suits asks, “Sam?” to which they chuckle. Rip is having to deal with the fact that ladies can do business as well. Left unsaid is the implication that had the account exec been named Jessica, poor ole’ Rip would have been forewarned that he will be dealing with someone who in fact has breasts and learn how to brace himself for such a development. And awkward lighting has returned. When Joan Severance, the actress portraying Samantha N. Moore, stands stock still, the camera seems to capture her okay, about half the time, but when she moves about, the camera seems to have trouble capturing her in the same fashion as when she stood still. As Sam tells all to be seated and talks marketing, all read the brief she prepared except Rip, who stares after her and exhales softly. Now, in Rip’s defense, Joan Severance is very, very, very attractive woman, and is a former supermodel. But still, Rip is acting like an eight year old boy who just realized he likes the way Suzy two desks over looks like, only somehow he is less mature about it. As Sam walks about and the lighting stays flat and TV like, Rip continues to check her out and actually at one point looks her up and down and nods to himself. Oh Rip. Also, having cut out the scene of Rip meeting Liz the lovelorn receptionist, we have not established that ladies did Rip. Now, in the March draft of the script, the progression was: first we establish Rip is in fact a sex symbol and the object of unrequited lust from at least some of the women who meet him, and then we establish Rip also has feelings for girls. Here, without Liz, Rip is just a horny fella who is smitten at the first attractive woman the film introduces. This undermines Rip as a character. Instead of showing him as immune to affections of some ladies and noticing only Sam, to show how even Sam can make Rip sweat, we see Rip fall apart right away. The script built up Rip as something more than just a fighter, and went overboard with it. The film is intent on making Rip a superhuman brawler, but seems to be dialing down all the other crazy delicious touches that I hate-loved in the script. Back to horny Rip staring creepily at Sam.
As Sam talks about how much she wants to change and do with Rip’s character and business interests, she cottons on that Rip is staring (she’d have to be blind not to notice that) and calls him out what he thinks of her proposal thinking he has ignored all of it, and he kinda has, because his redirect is to merely point out that he likes charity and that is his chief outside interest, so her proposal needs to include that. This leads to a cut away to the nameless suits nodding their heads sagely and Sam being defensive, but not as defensive as she gets when Rip says he does not mean to be rude but he has somewhere he needs to be and can they discuss this later. Switching to offense, Sam tells him she will pick him up at eight, for dinner. At this point, Rip’s jaw wobbles to sell shock. Oh man, this is bad acting. Mouth still open, Rip is told the place will be “dressy” as Sam cracks the whip and takes charge.
Let’s call it an Act I here, though it really isn’t.
Given the clothes, the reference by Rip to having a meeting, and the March draft, it is clear that the Sam-Rip meeting scene was meant to take place before the Brell meeting. But someone decided the cutaway from a man shitting his pants in fear of Hogan to a French restaurant with Rip and Sam having a date might be better served by instead having Sam set a date with Rip and then cutting to that date, and moving up the pants shitting up one sequence. The pacing is slightly better as a result, and I did point out when reviewing the script just how odd the cutaway from Dukey to French cuisine, so let’s call it a win. Overall, however, the film is still awkward, as the gains are mostly offset by the new set of losses. I liked that it was not Ripper suggesting he and Sam talk about this after hours in a casual place, but instead Sam was the aggressor – because A) her motivation is ostensibly to teach this lunkhead the finer points of her marketing plan, and B) if Sam is still a mole for Brell, then of course she would take charge and try to get Rip to be closer to her quickly so as to learn things from him to sell back to Brell. As noted earlier, I also think the elimination of a high school girl uncrossing her legs was an improvement, though at the cost of removing a scene showing us Randy can wrestle. But the limo scene was somehow worse on film than in print, and went on far longer, including the pants shitting being extended. Rip’s animal growling and weird noises help no one, and I really cannot emphasize enough how much of a weird feel it would have been for Hogan fans to see the Mirror Universe where Rip is almost Hogan. The film cannot decide the difference between Hogan and Rip besides saddling him with a trainer and a brother, making the existence of Rip as a character separate from Hogan largely pointless. In the script, Rip was Hogan with the serial numbers filed off. In the film, Rip is Hogan with the serial numbers still visible. Still, we’re early on in the film and we setup some stuff that could be fun to resolve.