Pain, you want pain? Just watch `Jesse Ventura Story'

May 22, 1999|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,SUN TV CRITIC

Jesse Ventura looks into the camera and says, "I like to call wrestling a ballet of violence."

That's what passes for a message, insight or truth in this two-bit, cut-and-paste made-for-TV movie about the life of the wrestler-turned-governor of Minnesota airing tomorrow night from 9 to 11 on NBC.

Well, there's also this: "Pain is good. Extreme pain is extremely good." Or how about, "nothing is forever"? Beyond the fact that "The Jesse Ventura Story" celebrates violence, it also includes what is hands-down the worst narrative device of the television season -- having the actor playing Ventura (Nils Allen Stewart) pop up in the film at key points in a three-piece suit as Governor Ventura to comment on the action. It absolutely shreds any hope of narrative continuity or believability.

On the other hand, why would either of those things matter to a network that would air this kind of schlock?

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