Bending The Rules (2012)

Bending The Rules (2012)

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He couldn't help but feel that there was something missing. Like a wrestling ring.
He couldn’t help but feel that there was something missing. Like a wrestling ring.

Twitter Plot Summary: An easygoing New Orleans cop has to look after the District Attorney who wants to have him arrested for skimming money from drug busts.

I’ve discussed it many a time in the past, but generally speaking the movies made by WWE Films/WWE Studios usually follow the same close template. One moderately big name star from the acting world, one professional wrestler, and a story that can be told in under 90 minutes. They are also invariably in the action comedy genre, although there have been some, but not many, exceptions to this rule. It’s no different in Bending The Rules.

The story here sees an up and coming Junior District Attorney Theo Gold (Jamie Kennedy) joining forces with a maverick cop Nick Blades (Edge from WWE, aka Adam Copeland) who is currently on administrative leave from the force, as they meander along a storyline that involves Theo trying to get his Dad’s stolen car back while being targeted for minor misdemeanours by crooked cops, and Blades trying to avoid having Gold put him behind bars for skimming money off drug busts, and trying to figure out who wants to kill Gold.

Before we go any further – what sort of a name is Nick Blades? It’s yet another example of bad naming conventions in action cinema. And this is not a film that you would describe as original – there’s the hot female police officer, the laid back rule-breaking cop, the slimy attorney, even a stereotypically angry, black, senior police officer makes an appearance. It seems the only other genre convention not crammed into the story would be the Danny Glover type complaining about being old.

"Look, I know the script isn't great, but there's no need to point a gun at the writer."
“Look, I know the script isn’t great, but there’s no need to point a gun at the writer.”

Edge, much like the majority of his WWE cohort who have transitioned from professional wrestling into the acting sphere, is an enjoyable and charismatic lead but he’s not going to be bothering the award ceremonies any time soon. In fact he’s almost too laid back, as even in the face of certain death or, at the very least, extreme danger, he is remarkably placid. I understand that the character is supposed to be this easygoing chap who follows the “slow and steady” mantra for solving crime, but surely he should show some concern when his life is threatened?

This being a WWE Films/WWE Studios production, there is the inevitable piece of moderately big name casting. In fact here there’s two if you ignore Jamie Kennedy – Philip Baker Hall and Jessica Walter as Theo’s parents. Baker Hall has been in a huge number of films in the past, and Walter is perhaps best known these days for Arrested Development and Archer. They add a bit of class to events, but are given no opportunity to add much else. At least you can never accuse these productions of being incompetent. Sure the story might be as vanilla as they come, but at least the camera is pointed in the right direction and there are decent if unspectacular performances from all involved. They put The Asylum to shame, at the very least.

It’s a fun little adventure but nothing more than that. It’s enjoyable in isolation, but ultimately it amounts to nothing more than your standard, generic and inherently forgettable buddy cop movie.

Score: 2/5

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