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Movie review: Wrestler acts outside the ring in 'The Reunion'

The "Midnight Run" meets "Bonanza" idea isn't exactly a terrible one, but writer-director Mike Pavone has only one point-and-shoot gear in "The Reunioin.

October 21, 2011|By Robert Adele

The WWE's campaign to turn its brutes into box office deals another tepid hand with "The Reunion."

Following his monolithic turn in the generically solemn "Legendary," muscleman John Cena gets to try his hand at cynical wisecracks as the oldest of four heirs — along with Amy Smart, Ethan Embry and Boyd Holbrook — to a despised father's fortune. The catch in the will is that the brothers, who hate one another, have to go into business together as bail bondsmen, a venture that immediately sends the trio to Mexico to find a billionaire kidnapped by a vengeful businessman (Michael Rispoli).

The "Midnight Run" meets "Bonanza" idea isn't exactly a terrible one, but writer-director Mike Pavone has only one point-and-shoot gear, whether the scene is light comedy, dysfunctional family drama or western-tinged gunplay. (Even television shows these days exhibit more directorial flair and editing variety.)

As for the actors populating this genre filler, Embry does most of the personality-lifting, but his motormouth character is so grating after two scenes you start longing for Cena's one-note stoicism.


"The Reunion." MPAA rating: PG-13 for violence, sexual content and language. Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes. At Chino Hills 18, Chino Hills.

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