This is a guest review by freelance journalist Chris Slater. Reach him on Twitter here.
To steal a cliche, Amy Schumer is currently Hollywood's "It Girl." She can seemingly do no wrong: successful standup career, critically-lauded television show, and now she's in one of the top comedies in theaters. "Trainwreck," written by Schumer herself, tells the story about a chronically non-monogamous woman trying to live her life and further her career.
I went to see "Trainwreck" late one Saturday night. I was bored, so I went by myself and sat in a theater with only two other people. It was a good time; $7 well spent. Schumer and Bill Hader, one of the more underrated "Saturday Night Live" cast members of the last decade, have a nice chemistry together. Colin Quinn, one of the most overrated "SNL" cast members of all time, really surprised me with his turn as Schumer's father; just the right amount of heart and douchebag to make a loveable, yet flawed character.
Most of the media attention is going toward Lebron James, who played essentially a caricature of himself. Hader's character is a sports doctor with famous sports friends, one of whom is Lebron. In the film, Lebron is portrayed as being especially frugal. At one point, he tries to split a $32 lunch with Hader. When Hader mentions that he bought lunch last time and that it's Lebron's turn, he grudgingly says okay but suddenly remembers that he forgot his wallet.
In terms of making the most of a small amount of screen time, nobody shined brighter than 15-time World Champion John Cena. Lebron turned a lot of heads for being an athlete acting, but he pretty much played himself. It wasn't much of a stretch. Cena actually showed some range.
WWE has not openly promoted Cena's appearance in "Trainwreck" that much. After watching it, it's easy to see why. The character that Cena portrays is a total 180 from the kid-friendly hero that he is to the "WWE Universe" every Monday night.
Cena plays Schumer's on-again, off-again boyfriend. He probably has barely 15 minutes of screen time, but 10 of those minutes are hilarious and the other five see him being respectable as an actor.
His serious moments see Cena as Schumer's concerned boyfriend who wants to settle down with her and has trouble accepting that she doesn't. The hilarious moments see it implied that Cena is secretly gay; Schumer's character says that he's great to look at, but the sex is lame.
And speaking of sex, there is a nude scene from Cena. We see the entire backside as well as a conveniently-placed towel on the front. From a totally, not-weird viewpoint, John Cena is a good-looking man.
During the sex scene, a visibly bored Schumer tells Cena to talk dirty to her. After admitting that he is not good at it, and after much coaxing he begins a hilarious monologue which ends with Cena saying something shocking and climaxing at an inopportune time. One of the highlights of the film.
The overall greatest line in "Trainwreck" goes to Cena. During an argument with a man in a movie theater, all of Cena's threats are oddly homoerotic. Everybody just gets more and more uncomfortable as Cena's verbal diatribe continues. The next time you see John Cena, try to imagine him getting angry and yelling, "You're being an asshole! And you know what I do to assholes? I lick ‘em!"
My main issue with the WWE Films division is that every movie is either about a cop or a marine going rogue. I just don't care for action films. Dean Ambrose has a cop movie. Dolph Ziggler is filming a cop movie right now. I'm not going to watch either one of those. Put them in an R-rated comedy and I'm in.
"Trainwreck" is a good movie. John Cena is one of the highlights. He has a role in next summer's Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy which I'm looking forward to as well. He may never become The Rock in Hollywood, but he's on his way to starting a respectable second career if he so chooses.