The Resurrection of Jake The Snake Roberts movie full length review - Not so much about wrestling as addiction
I was a WWF fan in the 80s. I was a devout watcher, following the weekly feuds of colorful rasslers like Hulk Hogan, Ted Dibiase, Randy Savage, and Jake "The Snake" Roberts.
I outgrew the pseudo-sport in my mid-teens, but I have kept an eye on the further lives on the heroes of my youth. So many of them met with early deaths, and mostly because of substance abuse.
Jake Roberts was almost a punchline for this. Him and Scott Hall were so badly out of control.... DUIs, arrests, embarrassing public displays.... that everyone was amazed they were still alive.
Jake was a memorable character... as a face (a good guy) he was sinister, and as a heel (a bad guy) he was downright malevolent. He was in shape but never was as muscular as most of the WWF talent.
But when we first see him, it drives home the reality of what destructive living does to you. He looks sickly. He has a gigantic gut. His legs and arms have withered away to bony sticks. At this time, he's in his late 50s and is far too young to be looking that old. In fact he looked to be on Death's Door.
Then DDP comes to the rescue. It shows Jake's recovery from alcohol and drugs. It's not just any celebrity rehab -- this is a man who basically was the face of substance abuse. A man who had been through dozens (literally) of rehab programs.
What makes this different from most movies like this... is that Jake backslides. A lot. So many movies like this show them at rock bottom and then endeavoring to get clean, and making it in one big arc. That's not anywhere near how addiction recovery works. Jake seems to be doing great, and then he turns up drunk again. He loathes himself but freely admits he's going to do it again. It's frustrating, like two steps forward but three steps back.
For this, it's a very real look at how substance abuse recovery is a very, very long road with a lot of setbacks. Even if you don't watch wrestling (or hate it), you still will be moved by this documentary.
It not only shows Jake's personal pain, but it shows how his family (particularly his adult children) are hurt by his actions. Even when things are looking up, most of them (particularly his sons) are dubious that this time will be different.
In the end, Jake is clean. Will he stay clean? Probably not. But it's a very good and sometimes heartwrenching look into the world of substance abuse.