Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bad Movie Month gets on the bus with The Chaperone

As Wrestle Movie Mania continues on Bad Movie Month, I have to ask"Why is it that when pro wrestlers become actors, they sign on for action flicks or family friendly films? And which is worse?"

Well, it is easy to understand their preference for action movies but the wholesome,"I'm just a big guy with a soft heart" genre can be quite stomach churning at times. Case in point, our latest feature film focus which is The Chaperone starring Paul "Triple H" Lesvesque. Yes, he is listed that way in the credits but let's just call him Triple H for now.

He plays Ray "Ray-Ray" Bradstone, an ex-con looking to make good with his ex-wife Lynne(Annabeth Gish, who looks annoyed at just being in this movie every second) and teen daughter Sally(Ariel Winter, of Modern Family fame). Granted, the guy is surprised to see that his daughter is not the little girl he still remembers but saying to her "You take my breath away" is a tad creepy upon such a reunion.

Ray's evidence of being a changed man includes taking advice from a radio shrink who resembles a low budget Kathy Bates and insisting that he's not to be called "Ray-Ray" anymore-"I'm Just Plain Ray!" You could play a drinking game with the number of times that either he or anyone else in this movie calls him that.

My sister found that Just Plain Ray sounded like a John Steinbeck character, which is a fair call, only there would be far better writing if even a distant second cousin of Steinbeck's was involved with this script.

 The paint by the numbers story here has Ray finagling his way into being a chaperone on Sally's upcoming school trip while also signing up for a bank robbery with a former partner in crime who set up him to go to jail in the first place.

 At the last moment, Ray walks away from his part as the wheel man to join in the field trip, which is made all the easier due to the robbery taking place less than a block away from the awaiting bus of kids! Naturally, his no nonsense approach to dealing with rowdy young people works like a charm(the kind of charm that can get you sued by angry parents, that is):

Ray goes between the two main story lines in this film with all of the subtle grace of an elephant dancing with a rhino in a china plate shop.

One has him attempting to bond with Sally while impressing her class mates and school official in charge(Yeardley Smith, who makes some really goofy faces at times) and the other avoiding his criminal cohorts, who are chasing him since the loot from the robbery happened to wind up with the luggage on the bus. Yeah, as sharp as cheddar cheese are the plot points here.

Getting back to plot A, Ray turns out to be a great tour guide at the dinosaur museum the class goes to, since they just happened to run out of docents to take the kids along(this is the actual reason given, I swear). Luckily, Ray happened to read up on dinosaurs while in prison and is as knowledgeable as any Jurassic Park sequel:

As Plot A and Plot B began to merge, my sister claimed that this movie was turning into "The Disney Channel version of Ray Donovan" and since she's seen more episodes of that series than me, I'll take her word for it.

Not only is the lead named Ray but at some point, Sally is swept up into the almost illegal hi-jinks, with some of her class mates forming an impromptu rescue team when her dad is captured by the bad guys.  A bit of mixed messaging here, as Ray does lead his daughter into a bit of criminal behavior that includes stealing the school tour bus but, hey, it was all in a good cause, right?

While I don't think a judge would buy that, the movie does end with everybody loving Just Plain Ray including his ex-wife who avoids getting a marriage proposal by a safe but dull doctor(Enrico Colantoni, who does the bare minimum of scenes in order to cash his paycheck here). Hopefully, she can tolerate the bland speechifying and hackneyed advice that Ray loves to deliver to anyone within earshot. His pearls of wisdom are more like clumps of cliches that grate on your nerves:

As to the question I started this entry with, it's my conclusion that pro wrestlers turned actors should perhaps stick more to the former than the latter, at first there at least. As Elvis once sang "a little less conversation, a little more action.please."

To that end, our next Wrestle Movie Mania feature will be The Condemned starring "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. If there is any mercy from the cinematic gods, that title will not be meant for the audience that watches this variation on The Most Dangerous Game.

 On the possible bright side, Vinnie Jones is also included in the cast and he's quite the juggernaut, bitch!:

No comments: