DVD Release Date: Tuesday, December 27, 2011
After going the family comedy route earlier in 2011 with “The Chaperone,” Triple H returned later in the year in a grittier, more mature film, the crime drama “Inside Out.” With veteran TV director Artie Mandelberg at the helm and an impressive supporting cast featuring Oscar nominee Bruce Dern, Parker Posey, and Michael Rappaport, this one had a solid shot at being a decent movie.
Sadly, even having a cast like that can’t save “Inside Out” from the scrap heap. The film opens exactly the same way as “The Chaperone” did, with HHH’s character, in this instance named AJ instead of Ray, being released from prison. Ray served seven years, and AJ did 13. AJ took the fall for one of his friends, just like Ray did. So yes, this is basically the same role transplanted from the action comedy family “The Chaperone” into the R-rated crime drama “Inside Out.”
AJ is picked up from prison by his old friend Jack (Rappaport), who has since married AJ’s former girlfriend Claire (Posey) and sired a daughter by her. Jack is still embroiled in the life of crime, but is pretty terrible at it, much to the consternation of his father Dr. Vic Small (Dern). If anyone can play irritated better than Bruce Dern, I’m not aware of them.
Jack and Dr. Vic want AJ back in their organization, but AJ refuses. AJ just wants to live a clean life as a pickler (yes, for real), and Jack is dangerous for him to be around. It takes less than a day for Jack to do something stupid in AJ’s presence, putting him in danger of going back to prison. AJ thinks that he can set things right and get on to living his life, but things get complicated. Dr. Vic encourages AJ to take control, because even he agrees that his son Jack can’t be trusted.
“Inside Out” is a bit of a mess, with crime film clichés sprouting up all over the place as the film hurtles towards predictable outcomes for every character. Dern, Posey, and Rappaport are all solid, and Triple H tries very hard but he’s just miscast here. Triple H has a very natural, funny charisma that is just not allowed to come through here. Perhaps if he had tried a supporting role in this kind of film, that may have worked better.
While it may not be the worst film in the WWE Studios oeuvre (though it’s close), it likely represents the most wasted potential.