“You Can’t See Me!” Instead: Ferdinand
Before he was literally a bull in a china shop, John Cena was figuratively one in the WWE. We pick three selections that showcase his transition from Superstar to… regular Star?
John Cena is a bit of a joke around here at Deluxe Video Online. In a good way. Ever since a radio station pranked a bunch of locals with fake WWE promotions, “JOOOHNNN CEEEEEEEEEENA” has been in our lexicon. His movies, however, haven’t made as much of an impact. Cena will be lending his voice to Ferdinand, the animated Bull-dandy. Before we grab a shovel and head to his stall, we look at some of John Cena’s other works, to see what we’re getting ourselves into.
It’s tough being a pacifist when you are the biggest bull around. But rather than butt heads or chase red capes around, Ferdinand (John Cena) would rather stop and smell the flowers. It will be up to his barnyard friends to help the big guy out when he gets shipped off to the bullfighting ring.
This film is based on a children’s book, and it already had a shorter animated outing by Disney way back when (1938). Both were short adventures, so I can’t imagine the bloat this film has going on. That said, Cena’s no stranger to dubiously enhanced bulk, and the movie is going to feel downright svelte compared to 2 1/2 hours of Star Wars. Maybe it will be worth seeing in theaters. If you’d rather stay at home and avoid all the bull pucky, however, here’s some movies to See Instead.
The Serious Pick: The Wall (2017)
Two American soldiers are hunted by an Iraqi sniper. With one wounded and the other pinned behind a flimsy wall, the two must find a way to get help. Things take a darker turn when the sniper appears on their communication channel and begins a second battle, this one psychological.
This movie might as well be called Phone Booth 2. The only thing that distinguishes this film from the 2002 Colin Farrell suspense/thriller is that having two people trapped by the sniper allows for the characters to develop some empathy. If you were looking for a gung-ho, hoo-rah affair featuring the physicality that Cena brings to the table, I’m sorry. He spends most of this movie face down in the dirt.
The Unconventional Pick: Tour De Pharmacy (2017)
Lonely Island brings us this mockumentary about the 1982 Tour de France; a farcical event that is notorious for every single one of the cyclists being on performance enhancing drugs. Cena plays Gustav Ditters, a cyclist with a freakish physique, equal parts Arnold Schwarzenegger and… well… WWE star John Cena.
This movie hits you with the David Letterman school of comedy: tell the same joke long enough, and it can’t help but become funny. The two avenues it does this with are with celebrity cameos, and raunchy penis-obsessed sight gags. If you ever complained that HBO was all breasts, it must have been because Tour de Pharmacy covered their yearly floppy dong quota. The jokes flop around quite a bit as well, but they come at you a mile a minute and I did get a chuckle here and there.
The WWE-WTF? Pick: Southpaw Regional Wrestling
The WWE and Old Spice (a surprisingly good judge of comedic merit, ask Terry Crews and Bruce Campbell) combined to make a collection of short videos. These videos were “unearthed” footage of an 1980’s amateur wrestling league. Current WWE stars masquerade as not quite ready for prime time wrestling characters, like a crotch obsessed Elvis Impersonator or a Gigolo with zero chemistry. The production values are both dated and nearly non-existent, with Southpaw Regional Wrestling being both an homage and a satire of old school WWF-wannabe productions.
Most of these episodes are fairly straightforward in their parody; as such the shine comes off the apple pretty quick. If you loved Prime Time Wrestling’s mix of interviews and faked drama, or cheese-ball wrestling marketing gimmicks like Hulk Hogan’s Rock’n’Wrestling, you’ll get a smile out of the nostalgia. It’s most notable in that Cena is much like the Rock; a character so at home in front of the camera that he outshines everyone else. If you wanted to see why Cena was never destined to stay in Wrestling for long, watch him here acting circles around other WWE superstars.
Well, there you have it. If you weren’t all that excited about an up-jumped Merry Melody in Ferdinand, here’s some John Cena flavored flicks for you to see instead. That is, if you CAN see them.