Interrogation (2016)

Every now and again, you need a movie to remind you to go and do other things with your life for a bit. Summer is pretty nice at the moment, there’s dogs need walking, I’ve not seen some friends in a while. Basically, anything other than this, which might well be the worst movie (non-Leprechaun division) that WWE have had anything to do with.

Okay, you’ll definitely think that until about 10 minutes from the end, when one of the all-time craziest twists happens. “Interrogation” is a twist delivery system, and if you’re a fan of that particular device, then I guess you might get something out of this. Maybe. I genuinely can’t tell if it’s something the writer thought of first, and had them work back from, or if they’d shot 90% of the movie and their original ending was such a complete waste of time that they had to reshoot.

Starring today is Adam “Edge” Copeland, former WWE champion and one of my favourite wrestlers of his era. A spinal injury forced him into retirement in 2011, but he’s made occasional non-wrestling appearances since then and is still friendly with the company, hence movie appearances like this. He’s Lucas Nolan, with a freakish eidetic memory, the greatest negotiator in the history of the FBI – we find this out, not only from his initial voiceover, but from his work colleagues, who give us the “ultimate badass” speech. You know the one! Usually reserved for an action movie where a group of soldiers will say about the star “ex special forces, kicked out for being too awesome, can kill a man by looking at him harshly” and so on. He stops a shooter by the astonishing tactic of being able to count (seriously, the opening segment is dumb as hell) but then is called in for the toughest job of his career.

An olive-skinned fellow with no name but a heavy Middle Eastern accent walks into an office building and says “a bomb’s about to go off”, then a bomb goes off across the street. He’s arrested, and Nolan is brought in to question him, to find out what he knows about other terror attacks planned for the city.

It’s a sort of cross between TV shows “The Blacklist” and “Homeland”, with a sprinkling of the movie “Seven”. We learn more about Nolan’s character, whose Dad was arrested trying to steal money for food for his family. Nolan was homeless as a teenager, but pulled himself up by his bootstraps and became a great agent…and as they ping-pong across the city, letting the still-unnamed terrorist escape pretty much at will, we learn a little more about him too.

It’s really silly, and boring, and all the characters act in stupid ways, and it’s not like the twist resolves all these problems either – think back on how two certain characters interact when there’s no-one around to see them, for one. It would have been nice if any of the other characters suspected something was going on, even for a second, but no. Copeland is a fine actor, as is everyone else (including a smaller role for fellow WWE star CJ “Lana” Perry), with special kudos going to “villain” Patrick Sabongui. Direction by Stephen Reynolds, whose work we enjoyed in the third “12 Rounds” movie, is decent too, if a little heavy on the handheld stuff.

So I guess most of the “huh?” must land on the two credited writers. It’s an unusual credit, “written by Michael Finch, based on an original screenplay by Adam Rodin”. Finch is one of WWE’s writers, having also written “Countdown”, but Rodin is a co-producer on Halle Berry’s TV show “Extant” and not much else. I presume there’s an interesting legal story behind the credit being the way it is, and which perhaps explains how bonkers that final section of movie is.

It’s very difficult to write about without giving it away, and I’m not a good enough writer. I don’t think it’s worth your time, to be honest, and I don’t think I’ll be doing any more WWE movies for a while. This one was a slog.

Rating: thumbs down


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