The next entry in Fight Week is the nearly straight to DVD wrestling movie ‘Legendary’. High school wrestling films will always be compared to ‘Vision Quest’ and it was my hope that ‘Legendary’ would compare favorably.
‘Legendary’ has a semi-nerdy Oklahoma high schooler Cal Chetley who comes from a family of champion wrestler but doesn’t seem to have much athletic talent of his own. His father died in a car accident 10 years earlier and his older brother left the family shortly afterwards. Cal decides to join the wrestling team and doesn’t do that well. Eventually he seeks out his estranged brother Mike, played by WWE wrestler John Cena. Mike apparently likes to drink and get into bar fights. Anyway, the two siblings end up bonding and Cal enjoys some wrestling success. The family ends up mending their relationships and they all live happily ever after.
Ok, maybe not happily ever after, but ‘Legendary’ requires more than a little suspension of belief. First, we have to believe that mostly unemployed John Cena has a large warehouse the looks like a CrossFit gym, complete with a full-size wrestling mat. Apparently paying for this building (which he calls his church) is why he lives in a broken down trailer.
Another unbelievable element is the presence of a mysterious old stranger played by Danny Glover. Glover has done some good acting, but lately he’s been “phoning in” questionable performances and this is another one. It wasn’t the acting that killed the role, it was the role itself. The guy who coached Cal’s father mysteriously starts hanging around right before Cal decides to start wrestling and dispensing cryptic nuggets of wisdom. Riiiiiight.
Lastly was the big finale. WWE Studios made ‘Legendary’ and the final match had their fingerprints all over it. The big event is a district championship for one weight class. Not even a state championship. But somehow the producers thought it would be perfectly ok with have Cal enter for his match complete with entrance music and, wait for it, fireworks. Yeah, I said fireworks. Big, shooting fireworks in a small high school gym. Apparently there are no fire marshals (or responsible adults) in Oklahoma high school wrestling matches.
Somehow the producers got Academy Award nominee Patricia Clarkson to take the role as the matron of the Chetley family. As expected, she handles her role as an over-worked widow pretty well but her performance is about the only one that seemed believable.
‘Legendary’ is rated PG-13 and that’s appropriate. The language and the minor high school talk about breasts is mild. The only thing that a might catch people off-guard is a brief bare butt in a locker room.
The movies didn’t completely suck, but I can’t call it good either. I won’t go out of my way to avoid it, but I won’t make a big effort to see it again. The movie was released to the theaters on Sept. 10, 2010 and then on DVD two weeks later.
The DVD of ‘Legendary’ can be purchased at Wal-Mart. I found it in stock at the Wal-Mart located at 4770 Colonia Blvd in Ft. Myers. (Click here for a map) The “special edition” is retailing for $15.00.
If you have questions, suggestions or just want to tell him how wrong he is about your favorite movie, email Alan.