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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Movie Review: Bending The Rules (2012)

Bending The Rules
Cast: Adam ''Edge'' Copeland, Jamie Kennedy, Jessica Walter, Alicia Witt, Jennifer Esposito, Kevin Weisman
Genre: Buddy Cop Comedy

Plot: A suspended cop and a prosecutor become unlikely partners when they stumble upon onto a criminal plot in New Orleans

'Action Cop Comedy With Not Enough Good Humour & Action'

The thing I noticed with these WWE films, is that based on what I have seen in this one and 12 Rounds 2 so far, in my consumption of these flicks, the idea or premise sounds somewhat interesting on paper, but with the movies themselves, they turn out to be such vapid affairs. They have a whiff of b-movie, straight-to-DVD- going for them: low production values, Z-movie support cast, thus taking an already established and familiar premise or formula that was very much old news back in the 1980s and 1990s and try to inject some newfound energy into it for the current era - yet these movies tend to exist to further boost the star/wrestler's appeal, brand & in widening their exposure through other media and entertainment forms. WWE films have been trying to mould John Cena as a Schwarzenneger, Stallone, Bruce Willis- type, Kane as the antagonist in horror flicks. Whereas the likes of The Rock aka Dwayne Johnson, Steve Austin have sought to establish their movie careers further away from WWE Films & in other territories.   

Bending The Rules would have been an overly decent effort, especially for a buddy cop comedy - if WWE Films didn't rely so much on Adam Copeland as the poster boy for the film. Then again, without Adam, die-hard Edge fans wouldn't have bothered or cared. Or even noticed. 

The film sees a junior district attorney, Theo Gold (Jamie Kennedy) partnering up with a corrupt cop, Nick Blades (Adam Copeland), who is currently on administrative leave. Nick is about to stand trial in court for misconduct, who meets up with Thero. With Nick's help, Theo tries to get his dad's stolen car back from some crooks.

The humour is just poor and not very or consistently funny for a comedy. Although with Adam 'Edge' Copeland dressed as if he is about to head off to Hawaii with the tropical shirt and shorts, he was effective in his first leading role with a natural charisma & likability that he exudes onscreen. He also shows his deftness for humour and has a good grasp in a much lighter role, of which he handles well. As for Jamie Kennedy, he does virtually little and says little, although, in honesty, he is just not the big-name comedic actor who could lead or front a movie that has a potentially good or okay premise that is also rehashed. Jennifer Esposito is passable, but the rest of the cast is not worth pondering about.  

There was never really a moment where I sensed that the main characters were really in deep trouble. There are also no good stunts, fight scenes - Copeland doesn't get to pummel a lot of bad guys -, action scenes; thus, but for the poor comedy, the film is devoid of most of the other elements and conventions found in many successful and popular buddy cop films. That, and it doesn't do or offer anything exciting or entertaining to entice viewers and the audience to get fully onboard with this movie and to go along for the ride. 

And the plot is just so convoluted and difficult to make sense of, which didn't help either. Bending The Rules needs not so much bending, but a lot of tweaking in the script and action areas. 

Final Verdict:

This wasn't quite the disaster that I'd anticipated (and not as bad as WWE Films other notable lacklustre 12 Rounds 2, which I saw) and the performance from Adam Copeland was all right & he impressed me the most. It's just it's a shame that the story is so laboured and not very exciting, charming, nor as funny as it should have been for an action comedy.

Bending The Rules is, unfortunately, another low-key Z-movie action affair by WWE Films, which doesn't help improve their reputation on the movie front as much as it should do. If the film was decent that is - yet in truth, it is not. Even as a B-movie based studio, if they want to attract larger crowds and viewers, besides their WWE fanbase, they need to try, much, much harder. 

But for Copeland's laudable efforts, this is sadly lacking in all other areas and that had it not been for his somewhat charismatic turn, Bending The Rules would be far less entertaining & so completely not worth seeing. That, and I wouldn't have paid any attention to it, at all. 


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