Inside Out Review
By David Kempler
Just a Bit Outside
Paul "Triple H" Levesque is trying to follow in the footsteps of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who headed towards onscreen acting from wrestling acting. It has paid off in a big way for "The Rock", and while it may work out well for "Triple H" also, "Inside Out" will probably not be the vehicle to catapult him out of the ring.
AJ (Triple H) has spent the past thirteen years in prison for manslaughter. It isn't made abundantly clear what the circumstances were that led to his incarceration, at least not until much later, but his character is so gently passive that we understand that underneath that buffed exterior is a heart that is in the right place.
Jack (Michael Rapaport) is his old buddy that picks him up at the bus stop, and he is a mile-a-minute motor-mouth that is ecstatic to have his old partner-in-crime back. Jack immediately lets AJ know what's going on in the business
but AJ's reaction of not wanting to return to that line of work is immediately apparent as the major plot point of "Inside Out". In case that isn't easy enough for us to understand, AJ tells Jack that his goal now is to make and sell pickles.
Since AJ went to prison, Jack married AJ's girlfriend, Claire (Parker Posey). When Jack tells AJ this, AJ shows absolutely zero emotion. While I understand that AJ is supposed to be the strong, silent type, I think the director, Artie Mandelberg, should have at least had AJ raise an eyebrow. No one is that non-reactive.
The mini-criminal empire is being run by Jack's dad, Dr. Vic (Bruce Dern), and he's cold enough and mean enough, but I still didn't buy into him. Something was missing.
As you no doubt realize, the conflict here is AJ's trying to resist being pulled back into the life
. Do you think he makes it? I didn't find it very difficult to make an educated guess early on. By the end, all of the necessary posts are hit, and on paper it may work, but in execution it falls short. Triple H will have to climb out of the ring and in front of a movie camera once again if he is going to make the same transition that the Rock has made.