Indie-film fans could hardly have imagined the day that Patricia Clarkson would share the screen with the likes of WWE smackdown stud John Cena — the Rock maybe, but not Cena. But it makes sense here, since Legendary is about a family of Oklahoma wrestlers trying to grapple with the untimely death of their beloved patriarch.
Cal (Devon Graye) is the Chetleys’ one oddball, a non-jock science-club geek until, one day, he decides to step onto the mat. This new pursuit elicits unwelcoming reactions from his concerned mother (Clarkson) and Mike (Cena), his wayward brother and one-time local hero, now a down-and-outer. Through all the emotional heaves and tosses, Cena is dead on.
Unfortunately, the direction by Mel Damski isn’t. He knows only two holds, maudlin melodrama and trumped-up machismo. It’s the fortitude of the cast, which also includes Danny Glover, that keeps Legendary from getting pinned.