Arts

Also released: Walk Like a Panther and Wonder Wheel

Walk Like A Panther features Stephen Graham as Mark 'Son of Bulldog' Bolton (left) and Dave Johns as Trevor 'Bulldog' Johns
Damon Smith

WALK LIKE A PANTHER (12A, 108 mins)

DESPERATE times call for desperate measures in the feelgood Yorkshire-set comedy Walk Like A Panther, directed by Dan Cadan.

During the 1980s, Trevor 'Bulldog' Johns (Dave Johns) and his fellow wrestlers pulled in a TV audience of millions with their daredevil, lycra-clad antics inside the ring.

Unfortunately, times have changed and now Trevor has hung up his leotard to pull pints in the local pub, The Half Nelson, which is the epicentre of community life.

When the pub is threatened with closure, Trevor co-ordinates a fundraising evening of tag-team wrestling to keep the bailiffs from the door.

It has been almost three decades since he stepped inside the ring, but Trevor is determined to squeeze into his skin-tight costume one final time and put on a show, accompanied by his son Mark (Stephen Graham) and other faded stars of the wrestling world including Tony "Sweet Cheeks" Smith (Julian Sands), Danny "Screwball" Dixon (Adam Fogerty), Lara "Liplock" Anderson (Jill Halfpenny), Zulu Dawn (Robbie Gee), Derek "Corkscrew" Dixon (Rob Parker) and Glenn "Gladiator" Higgins (Stephen Marcus).

It will take more than a piledriver and brute force to save the pub from closure, but Trevor is convinced that there is still an audience for the razzmatazz of old-school grappling.

WONDER WHEEL (12A, 101 mins)

Writer-director Woody Allen continues to explore romance across the age divide in a bittersweet drama set in 1950s New York.

Humpty Rannell (Jim Belushi) lives on Coney Island at the heart of the amusement park with his second wife Ginny (Kate Winslet) and her 10-year-old son Richie (Jack Gore) from a previous marriage, who has an alarming penchant for setting things on fire.

The family is badly fractured and Ginny is desperate for some passion to reinvigorate her stagnant marriage.

That spark comes in the form of handsome Coney Island lifeguard and aspiring playwright Mickey Rubin (Justin Timberlake), who seems equally enamoured with the unhappy wife... until Humpty's spoilt daughter Carolina (Juno Temple), from his previous marriage, turns up unannounced and catches Mickey's eye.

The two women compete for the lifeguard's fickle affections and their battle of wits and feminine wiles threatens to destroy the Rannell household and everyone in it.

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