I will fully admit that when it comes to picking out which wrestlers will be big stars I don’t have the best track record. Sure we all knew The Rock would be a big star but I remember thinking D’Lo Brown would be just as big. It was the most wrong I have ever been. More recently I was wrong about former WWE star Brodus Clay. Signed in 2006 and using the moniker G-Rilla he made it to the main roster in late 2010 on NXT. At 6’7 and near 400 pounds the former bodyguard is an imposing figure. What he lacks in in ring ability he makes up with look and presence. After weeks of vignettes depicting him as a bruiser he debuted as The Funkasaurus. A guy that liked dancing and having fun. Sure I never thought he would be a massive star I think this really hindered his potential. At least he got a WWE Studios credit to put on his resume.
No One Lives
Wrestler- Brodus Clay
Wrestling Moves Used- 1
Real Stars- Luke Evans
Coming off a bad score a group of ruthless criminals kidnap a travelling couple. The crew quickly realizes they bit off more than they can chew when they discovered a kidnapped heiress in their trunk.
WWE Studios have a tendency to use the same circle of directors. For No One Lives they go outside of their comfort zone and nabbed Japanese director Ryuhei Kitamura and it works. Making a name for himself with Versus and Midnight Meat Train he brings the same sense of style to No One Lives. Kitamura’s slick style gives the makes it fun to watch without losing the griminess a film like this needs. At the same time it has an air of fun to it with one liners at the perfect moments keeping this movie fun.
This can be best seen in the movie’s kill scenes. For No One Lives they go for a fun mix of slasher, splatter and a slight dash of crazy Japanese horror. The best example is what writer Heather Wixson has called the “Human Body Bag.” Needing to get to the the gang our killer simply known as Driver (played by Luke Evans) emerges from the corpse of Brodus Clay. Shot in a wide angle we see him crawl out of the body in gory detail. It’s bloody, horrifying and absolutely ridiculous. The craziest part, it’s not even the goriest part of the movie.
Speaking of Brodus Clay he isn’t bad in this. Playing a generic henchman he brings the same menace he brought when he first came into WWE. While good in the role he isn’t actually given that much to do. He’s there to sneer, look tough and occasionally say a line. Now that I think about it the same can be said of the rest of the cast. Since the majority of the cast plays scummy criminals nobody gets the chance to stand out.
The only person who really made an impact is Luke Evans as Driver, a killer who is part Jigsaw and part Jason Voorhees. Before this I didn’t really know much about Luke Evans. While I have seen him in a few movies before he never made much of an impact and I wasn’t sure if I could be a lead. I have to be honest I was pleasantly surprised with his performance. He brings the intensity needed for the role without feeling too over the top. Plus he is the only one to do a wrestling move in the movie. With all of the movies WWE Studios gave a sequel I can’t help but wonder why No One Lives hasn’t gotten one yet.
I won’t lie to you and say No One Lives is original because it’s not. Pretty much everything in the movie has been done before in better movies. Despite this No One Lives is an absolute blast to watch. With better performances than 12 Rounds and better looking than See No Evil it’s definitely the best WWE Studios movie I have seen so far. Unless The Marine 5 takes a drastic turn I see it being the champ for a long time.
That’s it for Wrestling Is Reel for this month. I’ll be back in August to have a look at Vendetta starring “The World’s Largest Athlete,” The Big Show.