Critics brand John Cena’s latest film ‘Freelance’ “bizarre and punishingly dull”

John Cena’s new action-comedy movie Freelance has received a swath of negative reviews and scored an infamous zero per rate rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film sees Cena play ex-special forces soldier Mason Pettits who is hired to provide security for a journalist while they interview a dictator. Eventually coup breaks out and Pettits has to keep the three of them alive.

Helmed by Taken director Pierre Morel, Freelance also stars Alison Brie, Christian Slater, Alice Eve, Marton Csokas and Narcos star Juan Pablo Raba.

Not yet released in the UK, Freelance premiered in the US on October 27 and has been criticised for its derivative action and poor performances.


In a scathing review, IGN said: “You’ve seen everyone involved in Freelance present their talents infinitely better in other projects. There is no peace to be made with John Cena’s lead performance; Alison Brie doesn’t endear herself to the filmgoing community.

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“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.”

The LA Times was equally scathing. They said: “The confounding, bizarre and punishingly dull Freelance isn’t really a comedy (there are no jokes, even if Cena delivers his lines as if they are), and while there is some action, nothing ever gets the blood pumping.”

The Hollywood Reporter meanwhile criticised the film’s lack of joy. They said: “As a wish-fulfilment vehicle, Freelance is naked in its aims… It’s missing the most crucial element of fun.”

In a half star review, added: “There’s an oppressive nothingness to Freelance. No romance. No comedy. No action. Sure, there are half-hearted attempts at those things, but none of it connects because this film doesn’t have an ounce of artistry behind it.”


Cena recently made his return to wrestling while the ongoing actor’s strike keeps film production halted.

In addition to his work with WWE, he has a number of upcoming projects including a role in Matthew Vaughn’s spy-caper Argylle, comedy Coyote vs. Acme, Ricky Stanicky, Paul Feig’s Grand Theft Lotto and action blockbuster Heads of State which will also star Idris Elba.