Rotten Tomatoes gives John Cena’s new film, Freelance, a score of 0% based on critic reviews. In this action comedy, John Cena plays a former special forces operative named Mason Pettits who takes a job protecting journalist Claire Wellington (Alison Brie) while she conducts an interview with the dictator of the fictional country of Paldonia (played by Juan Pablo Raba).
In the midst of the interview, however, a military coup occurs, and the three must make their way through the jungle in order to survive. On the other hand, critics have been largely unkind to the film by Pierre Morel (Taken) and Jacob Lentz, claiming that it fails to successfully integrate its many parts.
- What the critics are saying
- A Report From Hollywood
Freelance’s true intentions as a wish-fulfillment vehicle are laid bare. It doesn’t try to dress up its message in flowery prose, hide it under thick layers of comic book metaphor, or soften it with a lot of wringing of the hands. But it’s lacking in fun in the most fundamental way.
At the end of the film, the viewer is left with a Frankenstein-like creation whose various genre elements were thrown together hastily. Consequently, the film lacks direction and energy, and its more serious messages fall flat because the audience is neither amused nor engaged.
Even though Cena, Brie, and Raba are in a life-or-death chase across Paldonia in “Freelance,” the film looks like it was shot on backlots and green screens the entire time. The pacing is all over the place, the jokes don’t land, and the action never gets interesting.
Everyone who worked on Freelance has shown their abilities in other projects to much greater effect. John Cena’s performance as the protagonist cannot be reconciled with the moviegoing public, and neither does Alison Brie’s.
“Pierre Morel’s uninspired work behind the camera goes hand in hand with the film’s nondescript title, dragging viewers through a moodless, toothless action hybrid that, at its best, plays as forgettably inept even with ammunition flying in all directions.”