Review: ‘The Chaperone’

A poorly written, unevenly thesped, family-friendly tale of redemption.

Presumably there’s an audience out there for old-fashioned, poorly written, unevenly thesped, family-friendly tales of redemption starring beefy wrestlers and a bunch of kids, but it’s difficult to imagine who. Indeed, with the exception of cell phones, which figure prominently in the pic’s bland action climax, nothing here — technologically, linguistically or visually — would not be more at home decades ago, when director Stephen Herek helmed “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and “The Mighty Ducks.” Lame WWE production opens Feb. 18.

After a seven-year stretch, Ray (Paul “Triple H” Levesque) emerges from prison a changed man thanks to a radio self-help guru. He anxiously seeks to join the legit workforce and reconnect with his teenage daughter (Ariel Winter). But, firmly rejected by both, he briefly joins his old gang, only to leave them high and dry mid-heist, running off to chaperone his daughter’s high-school field trip, where he can flex his prison-acquired knowledge of dinosaurs.

The Chaperone

Production

A Samuel Goldwyn Films release of a WWE Studios production. Produced by Mike Pavone. Executive producers, David Karl Calloway, Steve Barnett. Co-producer, Nancy Hirami. Directed by Stephen Herek. Screenplay, S. J. Roth.

Crew

Camera (color), Kenneth Zunder; editor, Michel Aller; music, Jim Johnston; production designer, Raymond Pumilia. Reviewed at New York Institute of Technology Auditorium, Feb. 12, 2011. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Paul Levesque, Ariel Winter, Kevin Corrigan, Annabeth Gish, Yeardley Smith, Jose Zuniga, Kevin Rankin, Enrico Colantoli, Israel Broussard.
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