Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 09:07
Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Rock. Hulk Hogan. Randy Savage. Even Diamond Dallas Page!
Many are the pro wrestlers who have stepped before a movie camera’s red eye, usually in an effort to put distance between them and the world of a 345-workday year, a small paycheck, high school gyms and bingo halls. They do this to prove to themselves they can fill theatre seats as well as some fill arenas. And more times than not, you will see their arses back in the PPV world of wrestling sooner or later.
But John Cena, the former Doctor of Thuganomics who now leads the Cenation and is called The Champ whether you see him with the belt or you can’t see him at all, is different.
For one thing, unlike Hulk Hogan and the Rock – still active wrestlers when trying to make it as action heroes in Hollywood – there have been really no lapses of attendance before the WWE Universe with Cena. When he has time to do these films is unknown, because he may be the busiest WWE wrestler since Steve Austin. He is here at a Make-a-Wish op, he is there on Pick Your Fave TV or Radio Talk Show,
and he is in the ring most every Monday night for Raw
and main-eventing the PPVs.
As many “boos” as the controversial Cena garners among the so-called “smarts” in the sports entertainment arenas, even his staunchest critic must admit that, in the ring and on the mic, Cena like the great Nature Boy Ric Flair always brings the goods.
Thus far, to my mind, his movies have done the same.
(2006), John Cena’s first film, was panned by some critics before it ever reached the silver screen. Among the negative reviewers, Jim Slotek of the Toronto Sun
referred to it as “a movie so dull, it might actually cause brain damage.” Critics also complained about the movie's reductive dramatization of Marine operations in Iraq, and its lack of respect for the military.
Any watcher of Raw
knows the high regard in which Vince McMahon, WWE and its Superstars hold the military. Each year for the past many, a planeload of wrestlers and McMahon have headed to Iraq or Afghanistan, met with and performed live for our troops in areas where no other entertainment is ever seen. The WWE has truly taken Bob Hope’s place in this regard in our 21st century world.
In its first week, The Marine
made approximately $7.1 million at the United States box office. In its first weekend, it placed #3 in domestic sales. On Oct. 22, 2006, BoxOfficeMojo.com reported that The Marine
had dropped to #9, grossing $3.79 million. After a total of 10 weeks in theaters, the film grossed $18.7 million domestically. Worldwide, The Marine
Besides its great action, many stunts being performed by Cena himself, and many nicer quiet moments (always a challenge for many wrestlers used to yelling into the mic), The Marine
can be noted as being one of WWE Studios’ most successful films to date, beating out its predecessor See No Evil
, starring Kane, and its successor, The Condemned
, starring Austin.
(2009), Cena’s next film, featured The Champ as Police Officer Danny Fisher and his partner Hank Carver (Brian J. White, The Game Plan
). They bump into the getaway car of internationally-known terrorist Miles Jackson (Aidan Gillen, Queer As Folk
) and his fiancée (Taylor Cole of TV Heroes
fame). After Danny chases the car on foot, he manages to stop them. Jackson's girlfriend is, however, killed, when she is run over by a truck after trying to make a run for it. One year later, Danny and his partner have been promoted to detectives. Jackson has escaped prison and planned his revenge on Fisher in a game he calls “12 Rounds.”
The film opened at Number 7 at the box office, gaining an estimate of $1.75 million in its opening day and $5.3 million in its opening weekend and a further $2,498,325 in other countries, taking its worldwide total to $25,067,910.
As is usual for such a film, 12 Rounds
received mostly negative reviews from critics. Some noted the film's similarities to the 1995 movie Die Hard with a Vengeance
. The film ranking website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 28 percent of critics had given the film positive reviews, based upon a sample of 61. Much like The Marine
, most if not all of the praise offered to the film was given to Cena's performance.
brought Cena’s acting up a notch and his understanding of the film world can only help future efforts, IMO. I am proud to own DVDs of both these efforts!
I look forward to viewing his third film, Legendary
(2010), now on Blu-ray and DVD. Panning critics aside, I will be back with a review of the film and my presonal thoughts soon.
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