BIGGER Review – Bigger is Better!

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Bigger ReviewBigger review – Staci says it’s a bigger and better biopic than you might expect.

I will admit, I am sucker for the old rags-to-riches routine. And when it’s based on a true story, that’s even better. When I heard about Bigger, I was curious because it’s a subject I know little about: how the health and fitness industry began.

Siblings Joe (Tyler Hoechlin) and Ben Weider (Aneurin Barnard) were the architects of muscle. Against all odds, they launched an empire which spawned the advent of gyms and the never-ending fitness craze. Along the way they discovered Arnold Schwarzenegger (Calum Von Moger), inspired female empowerment (Julianne Hough plays Ben’s wife, pinup queen Betty Brosmer), championed diversity (their Jewish heritage held them back), and started a movement that really did change the world.

The brothers begin their body-building business back East in the 1930s, but you know what they say: Sun’s out, guns out! So they move to the beaches of Southern California, where the Hollywood stars frolic and where appearance means everything. That’s how the Weiders gained a foothold and continued to climb to the greatest of heights, culminating in their Mr. Olympia competition, where the then-unknown Schwarzenegger was discovered in 1970.

Hoechlin and Hough have real chemistry, which is important given the fact that their real-life counterparts were happily married for over fifty years. Von Moger is excellent as Ah-nold, given his limited appearance. He looks and sounds a lot like him, without veering into parody.

The film — also starring Tom Arnold, DJ Qualls, Robert Forster and Victoria Justice — covers a lot of ground from the Weider’s childhood and early struggles, then glosses over and rushes through the most interesting eras. I was left wanting to know more about Betty’s career and more about Arnold’s rise to fame. Still, I thought the characters were well-fleshed (in more ways than one).

While there is not a lot of panache in the directorial style on display here, helmer George Gallo gets his points across well and does a great job depicting the different time-periods without drawing undo attention to the styles.

Still, Bigger is better than most biopics of its ilk — highly recommended. (But don’t even think about eating buttered popcorn or drink sugary soda while watching!)

Rated PG-13
1 Hour 47 Minutes

Does this Bigger review have you all pumped up? Get showtimes tickets at Fandango now!

Bigger review – Staci says it’s a bigger and better biopic than you might expect.


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Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson is an accomplished writer / director / producer / film critic and the author the bestseller So L.A. - A Hollywood Memoir. Find her on

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