I enjoyed John Cena’s first two movies, THE MARINE and 12 ROUNDS (I thought 12 ROUNDS was one of the best action movies I’ve seen in recent years, in fact), so it should come as no surprise that I watched his latest film, LEGENDARY. This one is much different from the first two, though. It’s not an action movie at all, but rather an inspirational sports movie, the sport in this case being high school wrestling. And Cena’s not the star but plays a supporting role instead, as the older, estranged brother of the misfit high school kid who decides to take up wrestling.
If you’ve ever seen one of these sports/family dramas, you’ll know just about everything that’s going to happen in LEGENDARY long before it gets there. Despite the predictability of the plot, though, it’s a fairly entertaining film with the occasional funny line and good performances all around. Cena is a more than decent actor and does a fine job as the guilt-haunted, black sheep older brother who has problems with boozing and brawling. An actor I’d never heard of, Devon Graye, plays the protagonist, Patricia Clarkson is the widowed mom, and another actor I’m not familiar with, Madeleine Martin, gives an oddball but very effective performance as the kid’s best friend/potential girlfriend. Danny Glover, whose work I’ve enjoyed since SILVERADO, is the Wise Old Black Man. (Morgan Freeman was either out of town that week or else the budget wasn’t big enough to hire him, probably the latter.)
If you enjoy this genre, which I do, LEGENDARY is certainly worth watching. I like John Cena enough that I’ll probably continue watching whatever he’s in, at least for now. Oddly enough, I’ve only seen him in movies. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen him “rassle”.