The Reunion, 2011
When I say the word “reunion” what comes to mind? Having a cookout with some relatives that you haven’t seen for a long time? Going back to your high school and reliving memories with your old friends? John Cena going to Mexcio to rescue a kidnapped business man with your two estranged brothers to cash in the reward in order to start a business to gain the inheritance from your dead skank-of-a-father? If it’s that last one, you have serious problems. Serious, confusing, bewildering problems.
We all know that WWE loves to advertise their own products to the point of desensitization. How many times during Raw or Smackdown were we forced to watch trailers for The Marine, See No Evil, Dead Man Down, and The Call?
Now how many times can you recall seeing previews for “The Reunion”? It’s not like it was a bit role by some mid-carder. This was a movie starring John Cena. And it has a few real actors in it. How could something like this fall almost completely under the radar?
|The Reunion is a 2011 action movie starring John Cena, Ethan Embray (Can’t Hardly Wait, Brotherhood), Amy Smart (Road Trip, Varsity Blues), and Boyd Holbrook (The Host, Behind The Candlebra). The movie was directed by Michael Pavone, whose other directorial credits include another WWE Studios movie “That’s What I Am”. I wonder if Orton ever did go to the papers.|
|Netflix also labels this as a comedy, but any laughter is purely unintentional. But hey, at least Jim Johnston is involved with the movie. If we get Hakushi’s old theme, the movie will at least rate a 7 out of 10.|
|We begin our descent into madness with the kidnapping of rich business guy Kyle Wills. We know he’s rich because he’s reading the Wall Street Journal inside a limo. Props to WWE for showing restraint not having him cackle like Ted DiBiase or hail from Greenwich, Connecticut.|
|The kidnapping goes off with the subtlety of a McMahon looking to wedge current events into storylines.
|During this broad daylight kidnapping in a major U.S city, we meet the Carey family. Cena plays Sam, a suspended cop who looks like he’s on the Warlord’s diet of nothing but steak and human growth hormone sandwiches.|
|Leo (Embry) is his scummy bail bondsman brother and Nina (Smart) is their innocent sister. I guess they never saw “Road Trip”.
|Their previously unknown brother Doug is released from prison and receives a standing ovation from his fellow inmates. Call me crazy, but I don’t think having a room full of convicts clapping for me would indicate a pleasant stay in the slammer.|
|Their drunken skank of a father dies, bringing the 4 estranged siblings together from four different mothers together. It’s as if someone read the Wikipedia entry for the Dudley Boys and said, “Yeah, that should be in the movie.”|
|It turns out Big Poppa Skank(TM) was also a fan of wacky premises because in order for everyone to receive their inheritance, they have to start a business together and maintain it for 2 years. Premise!|
|Apparently, deep family discussions about money involve eating scrambled eggs and only scrambled eggs. Cena need protein! Cena forget how sun works without protein! Cena do hurricanrana!|
|As convenience would have it, one of the cons that kidnapped Wills, Edgar Rodriguez, also skipped bail, leaving Leo in debt. What a coincidence! In an Olympic feat of mental gymnastics, the brothers decide to track down Rodriguez, save Wills, and collect the reward money to start their bail bonds business. Confusing plot displeases Cena!|
|The brothers head down to Mexico because it makes the story better and totally not because it’s way cheaper to film in the desert and hire cheap extras. I mean, there were cheaper options…|
|You know what’s even cheaper? Green Screen! Apparently green screens give Cena simultaneous strokes.
The best lead they have is that Martinez was involved with a stripper simply named “Angelina”. She suffers from the same affliction that forces most Divas from having a last name. Still, that’s really not much to go on. I mean, that could takes months even years to…
|Well, that was was easy.|
|Doug manages to score the old in-and-out with Angelina because he’s all caring and sensitive to a woman’s needs. Either that or Angelina knew Cena would “kick out” at two. At least it was less awkward than Edge and Lita’s “Live Sex Celebration”.|
|Well, maybe not. Yeesh!|
|Rodriguez, who looks like a greasier Tom Savini, walks in on the two, but Cena makes the save, killing Rodriguez in the process. Whoopsies!|
|Through movie magic and plot holes, the brothers discover another person who knew Rodriguez, a woman named Theresa. Her grandfather is killed for helping them, but, hey, at least she still looks fabulous.|
|Theresa suggests that they ask local drug lord/wicker chair enthusiast Verduga for help locating the kidnappers. Surprisingly, the drug lord is of little help. But man does he look comfy.|
|While all of this is occurring, Wills is being forced to transfer his money to the kidnappers. Transmit! Transmit!|
|Apparently, Wills makes his money buying up companies, firing the employees, and selling the assets. And I thought it was from wrestling in WCW in the mid 90’s|
|I’m not trying to be vague when referencing the kidnappers. Without looking at IMDB, I’d have no idea what their names are. Maybe they were mentioned once? Maybe not. At least he has wi-fi.|
|Theresa eventually joins the brothers as they get closer to finding Wills. The movie then hits the “Michael Bay” button as a whole bunch of explosions occur. That oughta distract the audience for a while!|
|The group manages to find a building full of weapons to help them stage a raid on the kidnappers and rescue Wills. Why is there a building full of weapons in the Mexican desert?|
|In a wacky, Attitude-era worthy double-cross, Verduga ends up rescuing Wills while the brothers and Theresa go after the kidnappers. A gun fight ensues because BLAPBLAPBLAP! is better than story.|
|Cue the obligatory jump onto a helicopter! I’d say it was nice of John Cena’s stunt double to make an appearance, but that would mean the movie could actually afford to pay for a stunt double.|
|They stop the kidnappers, but go home empty-handed and poor, like anyone who still orders Pay Per Views. Hey, people are still upset over Ryback-leground.|
|But wait! A Russo-esque swerve occurs as it turns out that Nina lied about the inheritance. It was all just a ploy to bring the brothers together.I guess no one else decided to, y’know, actually read their father’s will.|
|Sure they were shot at, exploded at, dragged throughout the Mexican prairie, assaulted, and forced to kill several people on foreign soil, but gosh darn it, they learned to be a family. And that’s what’s important, right?||
|You’ve got that right, bearded kidnapper whom I also do not know the name of and isn’t Saul Rubinek.|
|If you’ve made it this far, you can tell that The Reunion isn’t good. It’s like someone threw a bunch of movie plots under a Slap Chop and then decided to put John Cena in it for some reason.|
|Heck, we didn’t even get to see Nikki Bella in this reunion. We really could’ve used her words of wisdom.|
|At least we got to see what Cena would look like as “Cowboy” John Cena. Hustle. Loyalty. Giddy-up.|
Overall, The Reunion was a pretty big pile of terrible. The worst part? Peaches & Herb’s “Reunited” wasn’t used once.
And you know what? If you don’t feel like watching the movie for free on Netflix, you can always read it.
Or use it to level your couch.