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Movie review: ‘Inside Out’ has a chokehold on boring

“Inside Out,” the latest air-sucking stranglehold on genre moviemaking from World Wrestling Entertainment, presents itself as a redemption tale about an ex-con (Paul “Triple H” Levesque) getting mixed up in criminality when the healing love of an old flame (Parker Posey) and her teenage daughter are so tantalizingly close.

This also happens to be the story of the last Levesque/WWE collaboration, the similarly entertainment-free caper comedy “The Chaperone,” which worryingly suggests a star-making campaign for the hulking smackdown alumnus akin to an Einstein-attributed definition of insanity. That said, even crazy-eyed Bruce Dern as a cigarette-smuggling kingpin and crazy-talking Michael Rapaport as his reckless son — who lures AJ (Levesque) back into illegality — can’t save this tonal mishmash from feeling anything but dully silly.

It’s truly hard to tell whether director Artie Mandelberg and lawyer-turned-screenwriter Dylan Schaffer are being serious or tongue-in-cheek about the movie’s many deaths, the tax-evasion story line, all the talk about pickle-making (AJ’s post-prison career dream), a maniacal Eastern European female goon and Posey’s disinterested line readings.

The only constant is Levesque’s stern gaze, limited range and granite build, qualities that haven’t stopped others from movie careers but here do little to engender calls for a cinematic rematch.


“Inside Out.” MPAA rating: PG-13 for violence and some language. Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes. At Harkins Chino Hills 18, Chino Hills.


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