Twitter Plot Summary: After spending several years in prison, AJ soon finds himself back in shady territory. Also Michael Rapaport doesn’t shut up.
Five Point Summary:
1. Michael Rapaport talking. A lot.
2. Shut up, Michael Rapaport.
3. Seriously, shut up.
4. Oh, he has. Finally.
5. I don’t think any of that made any sense.
What will strike you first and foremost is how much Michael Rapaport talks. Within the first 15 minutes it feels like 95% of the dialogue emerges from his mouth. If he was paid by the word rather than a flat fee, he’d have raked it in for this film. This, as it happens, is not a good thing, as he is thoroughly irritating.
For better or for worse Paul “Triple H” Levesque isn’t given that much to do in terms of demonstrating his acting ability. This could be considered to be either a good or a bad thing, because the reality is that Michael Rapaport dominates proceedings, and given that the guy is apparently only capable of a one-note performance it’s almost a shame that their roles aren’t reversed. It would have then at least stood a chance of being more than just a bargain basement production – although with that said the direction from Artie Mandelberg isn’t too bad.
Triple H plays ex-con AJ, recently released from prison after 13 years inside, who inadvertently gets involved in more shady dealings thanks to his former best friend, and has a peculiar obsession with pickling food. What is supposed to be a simple cash handover soon leads to events spiralling out of control in a very vague and uninteresting way. Several aspects of the narrative aren’t clearly explained, and despite the fairly languorous pace the script still somehow seems to be in a rush to get to the end credits. You reach the end questioning what’s actually happened, as other than a couple of explosions there is little that stands out by the end credits.
Once you’ve seen a few WWE Films features, a pattern starts to emerge – low rate action movies starring a professional wrestler, with stories destined straight for the bargain DVD basket. Occasionally they pull in a reasonably big named star – in this case Bruce Dern, who in the finest tradition of big name actors in dross films looks like he shot all of his scenes in a couple of days. The remaining key cast include Parker Posey, who still lacks any defining qualities, Julie White (aka Shia LeBeouf’s mum in Transformers) as Martha, an agent for the tax board and a tendency for only communicating in exposition, and Michael Cudlitz as a detective who assists Martha in putting the bad guys away. They’re not a very interesting bunch, some badly portrayed jealousy from Rapaport’s Jack being the only real point of note, and that’s only because there’s no subtlety to his performance.
Despite the star being a professional wrestler, there is too little action and too much time spent engrossed in some awful melodrama. It only starts to come to life once Triple H gets to bash some skulls together, but by that point the 60 minutes of meandering and frankly unnecessary plot have done little to rescue it, and it’s soon followed by another 20 minutes of yet more melodrama. You would think WWE Films would focus on providing some decent action films rather than nonsense like this – it’s a supreme waste of Triple H’s talents, such as they are.