The Reunion (2011)

The Reunion (2011)

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Cena awoke to find himself in a sub-par movie.
Cena awoke to find himself in a sub-par movie.

Twitter Plot Summary: Three brothers reunite after the death of their father, and they have a little adventure.

Five Point Summary:

1. Amy Smart’s obligatory 5 minute appearance.
2. The brothers have an argument. One of them speaks in Spanish.
3. The youngest brother gets it on with a woman.
4. John Cena’s fifteenth hat of the film…
5. Horses! Shootouts! Drugs!

John Cena proved himself to be surprisingly adept at the old action hero routine in 2006’s The Marine and 2009’s 12 Rounds, and is perhaps one of a select few professional wrestlers who could quite easily make a successful transition to the silver screen from the squared circle should his career choices push him more firmly in that direction. For now though, we must endure typically weak output from WWE Films, The Reunion being a member of this ever-increasing and highly non-prestigious group.

Cena is one of four kids who are brought back together following the death of their father, consisting of three brothers (Cena, Ethan Embry, Boyd Holbrook) and a sister in the form of Amy Smart. The three brothers have the same father but different mothers, and until that point either weren’t aware of each other or had chosen to go their separate ways. It is the death of their previously drunken father that brings them all together with the promise of a great big wad of cash if they work as a team on this one job.

The director loved to have a captive cast.
The director loved to have a captive cast.

They quickly find themselves mixed in with a drug cartel south of the border in Mexico, and that’s where things start to go wrong. That’s both in terms of what happens to them, and the quality of the film. Smart is the quote/unquote big name star of the film, and true to the established WWE Films pattern is only in it for a few key scenes – another weekend shooting schedule, clearly. That leaves Cena, Embry and Holbrook to carry the rest of the narrative, which focuses mostly on their bickering and family strife. Rather fortuitously, they each have specific skills that will allow them to make valid contributions to the adventure – Cena’s Sam, the older brother, is a cop who has been suspended for being too violent against perps. Middle brother Leo is good with money and with languages, while the youngest brother, Holbrook’s Douglas, is a petty thief with a face and patter that the ladies find irresistible.

It seems that The Reunion is mainly an excuse for Cena to show how good he looks in a number of different hats. And he gets through a lot of them – almost every opportunity he gets, he’s in a new hat. Luckily for us he didn’t resort to a bowler hat. Beyond that, the story only benefits from the occasionally amusing interplay between the three brothers as events gradually escalate into a final showdown with a big bad who is neither big nor particularly bad. He’s no Heisenberg, that’s for sure. Still, the location shooting means it doesn’t look bad in the slightest, Mexico looks particularly enticing despite the inference that it is full of drug lords. It’s not often that you get to say this either, but Cena is another example of a professional wrestler who looks as though he should be moving on to bigger and better things. Once he makes a break from the WWE Films fold, he might actually make something of himself in the movie business.

Score: 2/5

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