'LEGENDARY': Two and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
John Cena stars in his first family friendly dramatic film, which is also a first for the studio behind the film (WWE Films). WWE Films has produced all of Cena's films ( 'THE MARINE', '12 ROUNDS' and now this) and I'm sure their involvement in the film was the reason for Cena's casting. WWE and Cena's interest in the film is a little odd considering it feels like a 'Hallmark Hall Of Fame' TV movie. It's directed by Mel Damski, a veteran TV director, and written by John Posey, a veteran TV actor (who also plays Coach Tennent in the film). So the movie has a strong TV movie feel to it and a 'feel good' uplifting family one at that. Despite this it was released in theaters (in a limited run) for 18 days before taking the video rout. It would have had a much more fitting home as a Sunday night movie on CBS or Lifetime (which it still might I'm sure).
The film revolves around a nerdy high-school student named Cal Chetley (played by Devon Graye) who one day decides to join his school's wrestling team. His father and brother Mike (Cena) were both wrestling legends but his mother Sharon (played impressively by Patricia Clarkson) is dead set against him following in their footsteps. Their family was torn apart ten years earlier when Cal's dad died in an automobile accident and for some reason Sharon blames wrestling for their problems. Cal tracks down his unemployed alcoholic brother and asks him to train him. At first Mike is reluctant to help his brother, who he barely knows, but after Cal shows up at a hearing (for the sentencing of a bar brawl Mike was involved in) and defends him Mike feels obligated to return the favor. So the two train together in secrecy behind their mother's back. This of course leads to dramatic complications.
The movie feels a lot like watered down generic TV crap but it does have a heart and is inspirational in a way. Cena is adequate in his role as well as Graye. Clarkson shines like always and gives a performance far better than the film deserves. Danny Glover has a nice supporting turn as well. The writing and directing is decent by TV movie standards but for a theatrically released, as well as high profile video run, it doesn't measure up. Cena could be a decent action star if he sets his standards higher, he's such a huge wrestling star it shouldn't be too hard for him to get some decent roles (I heard he has interest in doing 'THE EXPENDABLES 2' but many think he hasn't earned it yet). With that said doing this family film isn't nearly as atrocious as the ones The Rock has done (he also got his film career jump started through WWE Films as well with 'THE RUNDOWN' and 'WALKING TALL'). The movie as a whole would be worth checking out on TV with your family.
Watch our review show 'MOVIE TALK' at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j95Zjdlcbe0
Drama / Sport
Drama / Sport
Coming of age in small-town Oklahoma. High schooler Cal Chetley is a brainy beanpole who lives with his widowed mother. Ten years earlier his father, a state wrestling champion, died in a car crash. Cal's older brother Mike, also a former wrestling champion but now down and out at 28, is estranged from the family. Over the course of a fall and winter, Cal joins the high school wrestling team while searching out Mike to ask for help. Mike rejects the offer, but Cal is persistent. Will Mike accept the challenge or is he destined to let Cal down? Giving advice and encouragement are an enigmatic old man named Red and a quirky friend named Luli. Then, there's Cal's mom who must be reckoned with.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 06, 2021 at 06:05 PM