House of the Rising Sun (DVD Review)14 Jul, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel
$26.98 DVD, $29.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for violence, sexual content and pervasive language.
Stars Dave Bautista, Amy Smart, Dominic Purcell, Craig Fairbrass, Danny Trejo.
Former WWE champion wrestler turned MMA fighter and actor Dave Bautista strikes an imposing figure: tree-trunk neck, massive shoulders, arms, six-pack and appropriately placed tattoos.
While lacking the charm (and pearly whites) of ex-fighting thespian Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and current champ John Cena, or the fierceness of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Bautista wouldn’t appear to be a girlie man either.
So why is he acting like such a pussy simpleton getting beat up by pretty much everyone — including his ex-girlfriend (played by requisite siren Amy Smart) — in action drama House of the Rising Sun?
That’s because Bautista stars as Ray Shane, an ex-dirty cop who spent five years in prison without snitching and now works as a benevolent security guard in a strip club and casino owned by a local mobster in hardscrabble Grand Rapids, Mich.
When the mobster’s son is shot and killed at the club during a botched robbery of $300,000, hapless, chain-smoking Ray suddenly finds himself behind the eight ball as the local authorities and crime boss figure him as the primary suspect.
Due to budget limitations (reportedly $1.5 million), Sun eschews the jaw-dropping sequences (and Jason Statham) found in the “Transporter,” “Crank” and “The Expendables” franchises, and focuses instead on superb cinematography (especially at night) of the Michigan winter chill.
A strictly boilerplate story arc, Sun may be oddly titled but it is entertaining for no other reason than you want Ray to grow a pair and take care of business.