For the vast majority of WWE Studios' latest action flick, Interrogation, I was prepared to say it was the worst movie they'd ever done. And surely, it's pretty terrible in a way that even The Marine or those god awful 12 Rounds sequels fail to be. But despite the way it manhandles every positive filmmaking technique like Brock Lesnar taking an opponent to Suplex City, this illogical cop thriller pulls off a stunt so brazen I almost had to respect it.
The film stars one of my favorite WWE superstars ever, Adam "Edge" Copeland, a legit actor in a role that fails to utilize his comic gifts in the slightest. He plays FBI negotiator Lucas Nolan, a guy whose power of memorization and deductive reasoning makes him like a modern day Sherlock Holmes. We're introduced to his superhuman gifts early on when he takes down a shooter by memorizing the time it takes for him to unload a clip and reload.
The plot kicks in shortly thereafter when a mysterious man (Patrick Sabongui) shows up at FBI HQ in Minneapolis talking about a bomb. When it goes off he's quickly apprehended and tells them of more bombs set to detonate around the city. Why? Pfft! He takes Nolan on a wild goose chase, forcing him to solve riddles and gather evidence to find the other bombs before they explode. It's a scenario that makes no sense, yet mirrors the plot of WWE's 12 Rounds. A maniacal bad guy with an agenda gives the dogged detective all the tools he needs to foil his master plan, for reasons that remain unclear and are rarely satisfying when revealed.
Joining Nolan on this fool's errand are his immediate superior, Sara Ward (Julia Benson), who is skeptical (OF COURSE!!) of his investigative prowess. There's also WWE superstar CJ "Lana" Perry (aka Mrs. Rusev) in a smaller-than-advertised role as the team's IT expert; and also some guy who looks a lot like Tommaso Ciampa but probably isn't. They don't actually do much but follow Nolan around, or in the case of Lana, provide the cinematographer a chance to check out her painted on jeans which I'm sure are department issue.
WWE Studios vet Stephen Reynolds directs what turns out to be a standard cop procedural, unfolding so slowly it's like Law & Order killing time until the next commercial break. It wouldn't be so bad if Edge was allowed to be himself, perhaps bring some of the humor that made reek of so much awesomeness in the ring and as host of the Edge & Christian show. Instead he's forced to deliver, in a serious way, wretched dialogue like "The path you chose will send you to the bottom of a grave." Really? Meanwhile, he frequently banters with the bomber whose motivation appears to be a hatred of reality TV, fake tits, and Facebook friends. Oh, and something about the American Dream being a lie. But really, those Facebook friends are a real problem.
Meanwhile, the one thing they should be able to get right, the action choreography, is ridiculously stagey. I've never seen so many MMA submission holds in a police investigation. Did Dana White coordinate this thing? Edge is more than capable of holding it down with the physical stuff, of course, but like many WWE Studios efforts there is no imagination to how these scenes play out. This is the drawback of a policy that calls for the hiring of as many mediocre directors as possible. You'd think the partnership with Lionsgate would have changed that, but it's clear cost-cutting measures trump quality every time.
So very little in Michael Finch's screenplay makes much sense. There's a random encounter with a bunch of Nazis that turns into a surprisingly dull brawl, something involving a dating site, and a lot of allusion to Nolan's dark side...
"You know the truth about yourself. You're having fun", the bomber teases. But just as we're about to figure all of this nonsensical jabbering is just the mark of a piss-poor screenwriter, there comes a twist that is so outlandish I had to actually pause the movie and rewind it. Only this was for a good reason, not like the four times I rewound it because I was bored and missed somebody saying something. It's likely Finch came up with the twist first and built the story haphazardly from there, but I commend him for having the stones to run with it. I wish the whole thing could have been that brazenly absurd. If anything, the final swerve is what keeps Interrogation from being an utter disaster, but it still isn't worth a rental.
Rating: 2 out of 5