What Not To Watch: Wrong Side of Town
It seems every few weeks there’s news about Dave Bautista being involved in another movie. The former professional wrestler has really seen his acting career take off over the past year or so. But the man comes from humble acting beginnings…
And when I describe Wrong Side of Town as “humble beginnings” what I’m really saying is this is the movie that Bautista probably hopes disappears at some point because it is an awful movie.
- The Whole Suburban Show: Big Dave isn’t the only pro wrestler turned actor in this “film”. Despite Bautista appearing to be the star of the movie on the DVD cover with top billing, Rob Van Dam is actually the star of this movie. Van Dam plays Bobby Kalinowsky. I thought Rob Van Dam did a decent job in the movie Black Mask 2: City of Masks. Of course his role was much smaller and he was playing a professional wrestler… a mutated professional wrestler, but still a role much more suited to his acting abilities. In Wrong Side of Town, RVD plays a suburban dad and husband, who also happens to be a retired Navy SEAL. I’m not sure which of those two facets of his character I believed less. The fact that the movie roles for RVD didn’t come pouring in after this movie was released is all you need to know.
- Synopsis: Bobby Kalinowsky lends his new neighbor Clay a hammer. To repay Bobby for this “huge” favor, Clay and his wife take Bobby and his wife downtown to a hot new club. It is run by a guy Clay does business with named Seth. Seth is not just a club owner, he’s also a criminal who has a dirty cop working for him along with a bunch of other miscreants. And speaking of miscreants, Seth’s younger brother Ethan is a sex crazed drug fiend. When Ethan bumps into Bobby’s wife at the club on her way back from the ladies room, he invites her to do some coke with him and when she refuses he attempts to rape her. Bobby, wondering if his wife “fell in”, happens upon Ethan as he is on top of his wife. Ethan pulls a knife on Bobby. The result… Ethan ends up dead with the knife in his chest. Older brother Seth finds out about this and now has put a $100,000 bounty on the head of Bobby Kalinowsky so every scumbag in the city is now looking for him.
- Taking It Up A Notch: Even a former Navy SEAL can’t be expected to take on all these thugs on his own, so Bobby calls in a favor from a guy he once took a bullet for, Big Ronnie (Dave Bautista). Things don’t start off too rosy for Bobby and Big Ronnie, since Ronnie is butt hurt that Bobby has never invited him over for dinner…. Oh yea and Evil Seth takes things up a notch too when he kidnaps Bobby’s daughter after his bounty plan doesn’t work out.
Action movies are not known for their tour de force acting performances, but Wrong Side of Town seems to bring the worst out of every actor in this movie. There are a lot of “less than seasoned” actors in this movie. RVD, Bautista and Ja Rule didn’t get their roles in this film due to the years of experience on stage and screen. The best acting in the movie comes in the first few minutes when the actress who plays Bobby’s daughter pretends she’s dead in the swimming pool.
But as I said, action movies are not about the acting. Action movies are about the action. And while the action in Wrong Side of Town is solid, it isn’t enough to make you forget the wooden performances and passionless delivery of lines in this direct to video clunker. The stylized opening credits outshine every performance in this movie.
Even if you are a huge fan of Viscera (yes, this movie manages to squeeze another former pro-wrestler, Nelson Frazier Jr aka Big Daddy V, King Mabel, Big Vis, Viscera, Mabel, into the film) you should do yourself a favor and NOT watch Wrong Side of Town.
And as tempted as you may be to see Rob Van Dam chop a tree down with his bare hands after his chainsaw stops working you should do yourself a favor and NOT watch Wrong Side of Town.
In fact, one might say that not watching Wrong Side of Town is the right thing to do.