The engaging story of an over-the-hill professional wrestler (Leo The Blue Lion), who’s afraid of conflict in real life, agrees to face “The Darkness” in the ring in an attempt to regain his former glory in the eyes of his one remaining fan—an 8-year-old boy, who hides a secret that will change Leo’s life forever.
Leo, a once great pro wrestler, is losing his hair, gaining weight, and is out of money. Stuck in the past, Leo is so determined to relive the glory days of Leo the Blue Lion (his wrestling name) that he doesn’t seem to notice that he is getting old in an unforgiving profession. To make things worse, the whole wrestling league is losing popularity as the once exciting matches have become predictable and boring—just like Leo the Blue Lion.
When Leo’s manager begins to coerce him to throw wrestling matches, Leo loses the little self esteem he has left. The only person who refuses to give up on him is a young fan named Tommy. As Leo begins to find happiness outside of wrestling, he realizes that there is more to life than glory in the ring. This revelation leads him to make a costly sacrifice that is nothing short of life-saving for his new young friend.
Fancypants is an unusual mix of genres that the film has trouble pulling off. Lighthearted moments are mixed with dark themes, and humor seems to be overrun by hopelessness. Attempts at satire come off as stark pessimism, while moments meant to be touching are weirdly disturbing and unsettling. The result is a muddle of negative feelings and thoughts that are assigned neither meaning nor resolution—even after the lighthearted ending.
Though Leo makes an incredible sacrifice for Tommy, Dove is unable to approve Fancypants due to its high level of violence and coarse language.
The Dove Take:
Fancypants tells an unsettling story of sacrificial love.