HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN is standard straight-to-Blu-ray and DVD fair from Lionsgate . It’s not train wreck terrible (which can be fun), but it is uninspired and incredibly confused. This is another attempt to turn a professional wrestler (Bautista) into an actor. But Bautista is no Dwayne Johnson. And that’s about all you will get from it. The actors seem to think they’re making an important action/thriller/noir film. Maybe that’s where they go wrong – the movie just doesn’t ever decide that it’s going to be anything other than a mish-mash vehicle for Bautista to showcase his “talent.” No, it’s not that… it’s the cast, all mismatched to their roles. Or maybe it’s the filmmakers. It’s probably all of these things, because the whole movie feels like amateur hour.
The film was based on a novel written by a former cop, Chuck Hustmyre. Brian A. Miller (the Director) co-wrote the screenplay with Hustmyre, which was probably a bad choice. You would think that a story from a former cop would at least get the cops right… but not here. The cops are awkward in pretty much everything they do. It’s hard to suspend disbelief when you watch a movie like this; it’s unclear where the movie takes place, the mob family seems disconnected. Purcell plays a slight New York accent, one mobster is British, and the brothers at the head of the family are Carlos (played by Danny Trejo who takes it WAY too seriously) and Vinnie (an Italian caricature).
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