Challengers – The DVDfever Cinema Review – Zendaya


Challengers brings us interracial mixed-race couples, just like every single advert on TV, these days – even though in reality, they only make up around 13% of actual couples.

To the plot, and the film flips back and forth between ‘present day’ 2019, going as far back as 2006 when best friends Patrick Zweig
(Josh O’ConnorThe Crown) and Art Donaldson (Mike FaistPanic) are playing a tennis doubles match. However, in 2019, they’ve reached the finals of a Challenger tournament in New Rochelle, New York… whatever a Challenger tournament is. That was never explained, but just looked like they usual of knocking the ball back and forth.

Yet, in 2006, Tashi (Zendaya) is a big tennis star and both lads fancy her, but in time, her career will come to an end, and in a different way than was shown in the trailer. That showed her suffering a ratfher nasty twisted ankle – which looked as painful as the ‘hobbling’ scene in Misery – whereas in the actual film, she dislocates her knee, both with rather gross CGI outcomes, but the latter being the reason why we can see she has a faded scar on her knee after surgery.

One flashback – as shown in the trailer – leads to a rather gross threesome scene, since both lads fancy her, but quite frankly, this is bollocks. I can’t think of a single straight man who, when offered the chance of one, would be happy with the fact that there isn’t at least two women present. And when she’s snogging one lad, before moving on to the other, would one man really want another man’s salvia in their mouth? No.

Then again, I kept wondering if they were gay, given the amount of time they sit about almost everything on display.

Aside from that, Challengers is nothing more than a Channel 5 afternoon TV movies. Who cares who she’s in love with? In fact, she comes across as more in love with herself!

There’s also an awful lot of tennis rackets being smashed. Given how broke Patrick is when we first see him, in a 2019 scene, why isn’t he more protective of them?

As an aside, it was amusing to note that our female lead’s character has a daughter who wants to watch “Spider-Verse”, given Zendaya’s connection with the Spider-Man franchise.

Additionally, sometimes, the background music in flashback scenes is better than modern music. I wondered if it was meant to be reflective of the era, but two tracks, in particular, were ’80s classics. Not only Bruce Springsteen’s Tunnel Of Love, but David Bowie’s Time Will Crawl! Both were from 1987, and even Bowie didn’t like his album from that time, Never Let Me Down, even though I loved it, and still do!

Challengers is in cinemas now, and is available to pre-order on DVD, ahead of its release date TBA.

Challengers – Official Trailer – Warner Bros

Detailed specs:

Running time: 132 minutes
Release date: April 26th 2024
Studio: Warner Bros
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (Super 35)
Cinema: Odeon Trafford Centre
Rating: 3/10

Director: Luca Guadagnino
Producers: Luca Guadagnino, Rachel O’Connor, Amy Pascal, Kevin Ulrich, Zendaya
Screenplay: Justin Kuritzkes
Music: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross

Tashi Donaldson: Zendaya
Patrick Zweig: Josh O’Connor
Art Donaldson: Mike Faist
Tashi’s Mother: Nada Despotovich
Tashi’s father: Naheem Garcia
Line Judge (New Rochelle Final): Joan Mcshane
Lily: AJ Lister
Leo Du Marier: Connor Aulson
Helen: Hailey Gates
Finn Larsen: Jake Jensen
Grosu: Alex Bancila