Most viewers of this DVD will recognize Dave Bautista for the time he spent in the WWE as a six-time world champion, winning the World Heavyweight Championship four times, and the WWE Championships two times making him the longest-reigning World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history. In House of the Rising Sun, a movie that is similar to the hit song The House of the Rising Sun only in the way that it is understood as a euphemism for a brothel, a gambling house and a place where lives are easily destroyed.
In a straight-to-DVD movie, Bautista (Ray), plays an ex-vice cop who spent five years in Terre Haute prison, deemed ‘dirty’ by Internal Affairs. As an ex-con, Ray is starting a new life, although the company he keeps are nefarious. Ray handles security at a nightclub, illegal gambling hall and home of topless dancers called “The House”. His crew includes a good friend, Walter, who steps away from his post, leaving Ray to leave his usual position within the club to keep an eye on the door. The boss’s son is at the door and claims that Walter hasn’t been seen for a few minutes, and Ray tells the young man to go back into the club. At his new post, Ray sees a man bent over a nearby trash receptacle and tries to usher him away when the hooded figure suddenly pulls a gun and demands Ray lead him and a hidden crew into the club. Ray follows their instructions, hoping they will simply take the money from the vault and leave the club. As the crew is about to vacate, one man turns and shoots the son of the boss.
Ray must answer for the incident to the boss, Vincent “Vinnie” Marcella (Lyle Kanouse) and his right-hand Tony (Dominic Purcell), as well as Vinnie’s brother and partner, Carlos (Danny Trejo). The Marcella family are known to be ruthless and cold. Even as Ray denies involvement, he is given the ultimatum that he must find the man responsible for killing the son and recover the stolen cash.
As Ray’s own criminal past is exposed, making him look more and more like the inside man on the job, he is forced to hunt down the players responsible for the crimes and clear his own name. Trapped between the mob and law enforcement, Ray reaches out to his old partner, Jimmy LeGrange (Brian Vander Ark) for help. Ray kept Jimmy out of prison, even though he’d been a dirty cop as well, and Ray reminds him that Jimmy owes him. Jimmy is reluctant to get involved. As Ray hunts down those who are responsible for the gripping vice he has found himself in, he discovers that every potential witness or suspect is dead or are falling like flies around him. Carlos Marcella has even sent one of his men, a trained assassin, Charlie Blackstone (Craig Fairbrass) to trail Ray and take him out if necessary. In a turn of events, it is the assassin who clues Ray in to certain facts that may just help him prove who the inside man truly was, and save his own life.
The storyline in this DVD may seem a bit stereotypical; the bad cop who tries to redeem himself by proving he’s really a good guy. The cat and mouse game, though, does add the appropriate amount of suspicion and suspense to what is meant to be something of an action movie mixed with dramatic themes. For the most part, Dave Bautista’s fight scenes didn’t look completely choreographed. It is obvious that Bautista is a hulk of a man, but he shows a quiet, soft side in this movie that he never would have shown to fans of professional wrestling or in a ring. Danny Trejo is always a bad guy in the movies, but in this DVD he makes small appearances although he’s meant to be the main crime boss. The typical ‘insiders’ to the robbery and murders are predictable. There are no real surprises in this movie, until the end (no spoiler alert here).
If you’re an Iowan that loves the WWE or Dave Bautista, then you’ll probably enjoy this DVD. Bautista shows that he has the ability to act, even if it isn’t Academy Award winning material. You can find this DVD in Redbox locations across the Des Moines Metro and surrounding areas. House of the Rising Sun is also available for rental at Family Video in the same geographical region.
Examiner Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Rated “R” by the Motion Picture Association of American for some violence, sexual content and language.
Studio: Lion’s Gate with Grindstone Entertainment Group (2011) (USA) (all media)
Directed by: Brian Miller
Screenplay: Brian Miller and Chuck Hustmyre
Main Cast (in order of credits):
- Dave Bautista – Ray
- Amy Smart – Jenny Porter
- Dominic Purcell – Tony
- Danny Trejo – Carlos
- Craig Fairbrass – Charlie Blackstone
- Brian Vander Ark – Jimmy LaGrange
- Roy Oraschin – Dylan Sylvester
- Tim Fields – Detective Carl Landry
- Debra Harrison-Lowe – Priscilla Zello
- John G. Carbone – Peter
- Frank Klainsek – Joey
- Jesse Pruett – Detective Slattery
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE
This DVD is appropriately rated “R” – for mature audiences only – due to scenes of gun violence, murder, prostitution, gambling, illegal activities, harsh language, drug references and usage, alcohol useage, extreme violence.
DEMON-WRESTLING.COM – The Official Website of Dave Bautista
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