Wondering if you want to watch Triple H’s new movie The Chaperone? Disappointed it’s not showing in your local cinema? Just can’t wait until it’s available on Blu-Ray and DVD? (I don’t think you’ll be waiting long.) Fear not, dear readers. We’ve asked our old mate Adam to help fill you in. Enjoy and be warned, there are movie spoilers, just in case that kind of thing is important to you. – Ray
Just as the Great One has made his return to our television screens, the Laugh Twins of the legendary LOL, Wresslin’ are blogging about Earth-53 Dry your eyes. This time we’re doing it right. This time we’re feeling alright.
One of the major benefits of living in large markets (in my case, the largest market) is the fact that everything comes to you. Thus, I had the treat of seeing WWE’s latest motion picture, The Chaperone, during its limited (in so many ways) release.
I have seen a few of the WWE films before, but strictly on TV. Both The Marine and The Condemned I caught on cable one day and enjoyed. I streamed Behind Enemy Lines II of Netflix one lonely day and I have plans to do the same for Knucklehead. Hell, I even sat through Wrong Side of Town, which despite not being a WWE film, does star both Rob Van Dam and Batista (!!!).
TEH ANIMALE!!!! 5 * FROG SPLAZH!!!
I have not seen Legendary or Marine 2 because I suppose I have some modicum of dignity, and for whatever reason I am yet to see See No Evil, which I hear is a perfectly competent slasher flick. But a family movie from WWE? Staring none other than Paul “Triple H” Levequez? That I gotta throw my cold hard cash down for! Just look at the poster!
The movie poster should tell you everything you need about the film in 3 seconds. You see a shot of Batman standing like the icon he is? You know it’s a badass Batman movie. Two beautiful people in a tender embrace/kiss? Romance. What about a film where someone stands with a quizzical “Oh Brother!” expression? Well that one is a little harder, isn’t it? But you know™ what the general rule of thumb is? It’ll be stupid.
Now as what can we tell from The Chaperone’s poster? We see that there is a school bus with THE CHAPERONE painted one, implying that this will be a school trip the chaperone chaperones. There is a little girl driving a bus with a crack in the wind shield, most likely due to the fact that she shouldn’t be driving at all (ergo- hijinx shall be ensuing for our merriment!) Two figures with guns are on top of the roof of the bus, implying that they are chasing something related to the trip that the chaperone is chaperoning. Also, the man on the top left has his nose bandaged and looks a tad haggard, so perhaps he got this expression from the aforementioned hijinx. And of course, the largest figure in the foreground: our assumed protagonist (and since the name above the title is the man in question, it should be a safe assumption for this poster.) He is just taking it all in, as if this is just another day in his hectic life. He also has $300 out of his front pocket, whose purpose cannot be determined from this poster, but it’s a safe assumption that the gun toting roof riders are probably involved with that aspect.
So now that we were able to decipher all this information from the poster, the question persists; does this all happen? Well…..kinda.
The trailer should illuminate the plot for those who need more information. I’ll allow those of you who haven’t seen it yet to take a minute and check it out.
This thing is all over the place. Is it this heartwarming story about a man who spent some years in prison and wants to get to know his daughter? Is it a bank heist movie about ex-cons fighting over money and making it personal by dragging in a determined man’s daughter? Is it a movie about kid power and the whacky adventures they get into? Well, yes. It is all these things. It is all these things and less.
Plot Synopsis (Spoilers): So Trips plays Ray “Ray Ray, no Just Call Me Ray” Bradstone, a former wheel man for some bank robbing group in Lafayette, LA. This will be the only mention of the character’s name in this review, since what fun is it calling him “Ray” and also the “Ray Ray” thing is a running gag that falls flat the entire movie. The film starts when The Game is about to get released from prison. You know™ he’s been in there for a long time because his beard is really long! Anyway, he claims he’s a changed man because some radio host (played by a poor man’s Kathy Bates, yes that exists) who preaches positive thinking helped him by letting him call into her show all the time. As soon as Trips gets out he is greeted by his former crime partner, Laroux (French for “The Street”) played by indie darling Kevin Corrigan. I love it when actors who may not be superstars but have credibility do this blatant paycheck jobs. Either they don’t care or the direction is terrible, but they always ham it up. Think Robert Patrick in The Marine or Willem Dafoe in Spider-Man. It’s a really a thing to behold.
Anyway, Laroux shows up in Corvette or something because I don’t know anything about cars and sorry internet, I guess that makes me teh ghey butt sechs for not being all crazy car boner, but I just don’t pay attention to that stuff. Still, it was red and a two seater, so you can probably pick up a Shawna at a tanning salon with it or something. Where was I? Oh, right, The Chaperone. We’re only at the first 3 minutes here, folks. So Laroux offers to pick up Hunter, but Triple H is all like “Well I wanna drive because I did that for the gang” and Laroux is like “Sure thing, He Who is That Damn Good!” So he gets out, Blondie takes the wheel, locks the doors and speeds off.
Yes, the ex-con who has totally changed steals a car within 1 minute of being released from prison.
To further cement how he’s totally changed, The Leader of Evolution totally transforms into Hunter Hearst Helmsly and goes all clean shaven. Then he shows up at his ex wife’s house wanting to see his daughter (who has insane eyebrows, but I won’t make fun of her because she’s a little kid. Still, she was not very good) and she’s all like “I hate my criminal dad” and that’s that. HHH then follows her to school and unsurprisingly gets shot down again when he runs into Lisa Simpson’s voice actor and get’s roped into chaperoning a field trip. Get it? It’s like the title of the movie. So yea, he’s doing this stuff but he also needs to find a job because he has to prove how he went straight. He goes to an auto body shop and doesn’t know what hybrids or smart cars are! He applies to work in kitchen and its all vegan and organic! What happened to the world? Can’t criminals who rob banks and then get put in jail for seven years ever catch a break?
Finally, his crappy apartment catches fire and H. Hearst. H just laughs. This is the dialogue (I’m paraphrasing)
Police: Something funny about fires?
HHH: Oh, it’s not funny “haha” More of funny in an ironic way. Everything I own was in that apartment.
Police: Oh, I’m sorry man.
HHH: It’s ok. Wasn’t much anyway.
This is pretty much every scene with HHH in it. He just gets all sentimental and forces depth wherever he can. This will become obnoxious in the numerous “You gotta believe me!” scenes he has with his daughter, or whenever he waxes nostalgic.
Anyway, down on his luck Cerebral Assassin decides to do another bank heist. He’ll be the wheel man again. The robbers decide to wear masks which resemble George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Condoleeza Rice (it’s funny because the robber is a white man and she’s a black woman). Some weird bank teller starts laughing at this conundrum which is probably the only scene that passes for legit comedy in the movie. She also has a call back later in a Stockholm Syndrome scene. During the robbery (which happened to be across the street from his daughter’s school on field trip day) HBK’s Job Boy decides to quit the robbery. He takes the keys out of the engine, throws them in a bush and walks to the tour bus. When the cops come after the alarm the robbers all flee, the one with the money running towards the bus, gets tripped and the money ends up with the bags for the trip. He then gets hit by a car. I LOL’d. Kevin Corrigan and the other guy on the poster steal a car, crash into a dirty diaper truck, see HHH on the trip bus, and follow him all around New Orleans in search of the money.
This is where HHH starts laying down the law with the kiddos and imparts his prison justice on them. There’s one ginger kid who somehow has access to fireworks that really chaps Hunter’s ass. They also discuss Sun Tzu’s Art of War, which is odd considering how the kid is 13 and clearly a dipshit. Well, the latter sort of makes sense.
HHH knows a lot about dinosaurs, breaks some guys nose in the bathroom while letting them keep their guns, and is finally starting to make some progress with his daughter as he’s helping set her up with some boy she likes. He gets permission to take her off schedule and takes her to a CD store which makes her really happy because he’s heard of some fake musician named “Kellen Smith” that is like, so deep and NOTHING like Britney and the rest. This scene is stupid, because no 13 year old knows what a CD is, let alone do stores exist for them. I work in the music business and have no idea what a CD is.
The cops find the keys to the get away car and find Mr. Stephanie’s prints on them. He’s going back in the clink! But first he has to give back Laroux the money, but every time they try to something interferes. Finally they just say “fuck it, let’s kidnap his daughter because, yea” and they do that. HHH gets them back, but not before a short fight scene with some hired goons and a near cemetery shootout. Daughter goes back to the school group where Lisa Simpson (she was totally playing an adult Lisa) is all excited that she’s ok and she won’t get fired because she let an excon on the field trip. Still, Daughter wants to make sure her Daddy who she now wuvs isn’t brutally murdered, so somehow some nerdy kid with an iPad is able to track the 1998 King of the Ring’s iPhone (yes, they use those words) with some app. Because that exists and Apple is so known for information sharing software. They then cause a diversion with the firecracker ginger Art of War kid, sneak out, steal the bus, and start driving to Mardi Gras Village to save He Who is That Damn Good.
Lisa Simpson is totally getting fired for this.
The kids do some mischief and have headsets that came out of nowhere. They cause a diversion and in the ruckus, The Man Who Held Back Booker T and Rob Van Dam’s iPhone falls out, somehow calls that radio show he likes so much (again..how? It’s touch sensitive) and they know who the caller is despite not hanging up after 30 seconds of dead noise. They immediately recognize that a crime is going on, call 911 despite not knowing where the call originated from, and the cops come just in time to save the day.
Oh, and The Game’s ex-wife (surprisingly not played by Joanie “Chyna-Doll” Laurer) totally dumps her nice new doctor boyfriend to reshack up with the man who “abandoned (her)” and caused “tears for months.”
Analysis: As you can see, the trailer was not far off. It strives very very hard to be a touching movie about redemption, but ultimately it fails. Why? Because HHH’s character never really changes. We only see him as a good guy, and the one flash back shows him as a loving father. So basically, it was the rest of the world that had to change and accept him. That’s not an arc.
As for the bank heist stuff- it’s a convenient (and I mean convenient the way everyone just happens to be in the right place) way for the HHH character to prove his love and such. There’s very little thrill in it, because again, HHH is constantly in control of the situation. Even when he has a gun pointed at his face there is no danger. I know that’s what I should expect, but his ability to manipulate the situations where he should be powerless just take away from any drama. But of course, he is The Game, so what should I expect?
The whacky kid adventure? Outside of the daughter there is actually very little of it. Which is strange, because the theater had about 15 people in it, all composed of little kids (no older than 10), their parents, and 3 assholes in the back who watched it ironically. I think if it was more kid adventure it would have worked better movie. It at least would have been more fun. Sure, it would have had to flesh the kids out more (although there were a bunch and they all got a line here and there for the most part, you can distill them down to 5 archetypes.
1) Daughter who speaks like an adult
2) Daughter’s crush who is also mature because he READS BOOKS (but came off more like a kiss ass)
3) Mischief Making Ginger
4) Overachiever who wears a suit when he doesn’t have to
5) Prissy Vapid Normal Girl
That was it for the kids, so as you can see, no one is really like that likeable. Hence, why the kid adventure fails. It also fails because of Hunter.
As it stands now, The Chaperone was just a vehicle for HHH to be all Triple H. That is, he was just better than everyone. It even imparted various life lessons from HHH, which is to say, according to this movie, hybrids and organic food is for weak fags, and all kids need some strict discipline.
So who’s to blame for this war crime on film? Well, I don’t think HHH is blameless, especially given some of the promotion he did for it. I read this one interview at ComingSoon.Net where he said “WWE Studios–I’m not sure how they acquired the script–but they sent a copy of the script to me and I thought it was good, I enjoyed it. It obviously needed some changes or whatever but I enjoyed the script.” He’s not wrong to say it needed changes, but it’s a little bullheaded to state that. Given how he tries to infuse so much melodrama into every other scene, this whole movie sort of rings as a huge Triple H vanity project. Which it is, to an extent. But you don’t get taken seriously as an actor (nor as a film studio) if you’re essentially just playing yourself. Acting is, after all, the art of becoming another.
Still, he’s not the main one to blame. No, the major culprit is one Lynda Vincent. At first I was skeptical of this woman. I thought it was an obvious rib or pseudonym for the McMahon family, but alas, looking at her IMDB page, she has in fact been working in films since 1986 (on such masterpieces (no irony) as Over the Top, License to Drive, and Monster’s Ball). And what did she do? Take a look.
Yes, she was the camera loader! It was her fault that this piece of crap got recorded! Now you know where to send your hate mail.
Score: 1 Triple H Water Spit out of 5
LOL, Wresslin’ is considering coming back to Twitter to continue our shenanigans. Follow us @LOL_Wresslin and bug us to TweetNA again. Feel free to follow (alliteration!) the author @adamrjones24. He is older than 24, it’s just his lucky number.