The Reunion

Critic rating:
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MPAA rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama
Power and betrayal divide three men who have joined forces in battle.
Starring: John Cena, Ethan Embry, Boyd Holbrook, Michael Rispoli, Jack Conley, Rio Alexander, Richard Barela, Josh Berry, Morse Bicknell, Jeremiah Bitsui
Director: Michael Pavone
Running time: 1:36
Release: Opened Oct 21, 2011
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Editorial Review

Saddled with a silly plot

By Michael O'Sullivan

Friday, Oct 21, 2011

If John Cena wants to follow in the footsteps of fellow wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, he might want to learn to smile. Or at least to pick better material than "The Reunion."

In this modern-day western, which is riddled with more cliches than bullet holes, Cena plays Sam, a loose-cannon cop who, while suspended from the force, teams up with his two estranged half-brothers - ex-con Douglas (Boyd Holbrook) and bail bondsman Leo (Ethan Embry) - to go after some kidnappers who have absconded with a wealthy businessman to the picturesque canyon lands of Mexico.

Before you know it, the three are riding around on horseback, wearing cowboy hats and J. Peterman dusters, as they bicker, banter and shoot up bad guys. A running joke has to do with which of them is Adam, which is Hoss and which is Little Joe.

But the movie is not for old "Bonanza" fans.

It's strictly a John Cena love-fest here. The needlessly complicated plot contains a lot of nonsense about their late father's will, which stipulates that the three must work together before they can collect his millions, but none of that really matters.

"The Reunion" is mainly for those who are already infatuated with Cena's stoic, Mount Rushmore-esque countenance and who do not find the idea of the big lug leaping off the edge of a cliff onto an airborne helicopter's landing gear remotely absurd.

Stranger things have been known to happen. The Rock is now a movie star.

Contains violence, brief sensuality and mild obscenity. In English and Spanish with English subtitles.