When The Rock left for Hollywood John Cena was able to step in and fill the void in the WWE. While he wasn’t as beloved, he did become a 17-time WWE champion and seemed poised to follow the road to Hollywood after the Road to Wrestlemania was done. John Cena’s transition to movies however wasn’t a straight path to the main event first starring in a string of badly reviewed WWE films.
Cena then shifted gears accepting smaller supporting roles in comedies which turned out to be a great career move. These helped highlight his comedic timing and off-beat charisma allowing him to slowly carve his own special place in Hollywood and bigger and better roles. Now he is headlining one of the hottest new shows of the year in the DCEU’s Peacemaker. As such let’s take a look back at Cena’s big-screen oeuvre to see ten awesome moments that showcased John Cena’s immense talent.
Survives an Explosion and Car Falling Off a Cliff in The Marine
One-man strike force John Triton’s girl has been kidnapped by the criminal Rome played by Cena’s future Peacemaker dad Robert Patrick (No wonder they don’t get along). To make matters worse Rome’s gang sets fire to the gas station with John still inside the nearby convenience store with both getting blown up in an explosive display that would make Michael Bay giggle. The blast is so huge the flames are inches from Triton sending him flying. He should obviously be dead but luckily, he is The Marine and played by John Cena so, of course, he is unharmed.
He commandeers a nearby police car and gives chase. Unfortunately, the tires had been blown out putting him at a disadvantage and the car eventually careens off a cliff. Somehow though John is able to jump out of the car midair before it explodes. It’s a ridiculously over the top sequence that also showed a glimpse of what Cena was
Roger’s arrival in Daddy’s Home
The running gag throughout is that mild-mannered stepfather Brad is intimidated by the tough muscular biological dad Dusty played by Mark Wahlberg as the two embark on a high-stakes competition for the kid’s affection. Of course, they become good friends by the end this being a family film and Dusty even announces that he is now a stepdad himself.
So, in the final scene, we see Dusty about to meet his stepdaughter’s biological father. In comes John Cena in glorious slow-motion riding a huge motorbike his rippling muscles threatening to rip his skin open. He strikes a killer look and now it’s Dusty who now shrinks at the awesome aura Cena is emitting.
It’s John Cena’s only scene in the film but he made it count showcasing his natural gift for comedy and ensuring that this was the moment audiences remembered most on their way out.
Ron Hits the Ball in the Green in Vacation Friends
Ron is unhappy with how he is about to be married and his newly formed vacation friend Marcus is being treated by future stepbrother Gabe. So, when the duo goes golfing against Gabe and his friend, Ron suggests they make a wager on the game. At the 18th hole with Marcus’s wedding rings on the line, Ron makes a huge bet that he can reach the green with one shot. Gabe laughs accepting and even putting their sports car on the line as the green is 375 yards away.
It turned out Ron had been playing possum and is actually a golfer. With that trademark Cena poise, he makes a curved shot hitting the ball dogleg left over the trees and into the vicinity of the green. Gabe and his buddy rush through and are relieved to find the ball not on the green until Ron arrives calmly on the golf cart and asks them to check the home and sure enough the ball is there. It was a cool moment and though it turned out to not actually be a hole in one hitting the green was still mighty impressive. Hey, even Cena isn’t perfect. Oh, and did we mention he can tell when a bird is about to
Playing With Fire Opening Forest Fire
With dozens of cars and civilians trapped in a massive forest fire, John Cena and his team parachute into the area like heroes flying in from the sky. Cena playing superintendent Jake Carson quarterbacks the team like he is leading a military assault. He divides them into the Alpha team and the Beta team and they soon have the fire on the run
John Cena maintains exudes full stiff heroism which is just hilarious to see. He catches a burning branch with his gloved hands without breaking a sweat and orders a pilot like they are bombers to “paint it pink.” The fire had no chance. Filled with heroic walks and a dramatic exit it’s a textbook demonstration of what Cena does best.
Stealing Project Aries in F9
At this point, Dominic Torreto has grown into a near godlike figure in the fast franchise. So, if you are going to introduce a new villain as a potential threat to Dom then you’d better do a good job.
Thankfully, John Cena is up to the task. Playing Dom’s estranged brother Jakob Torreto, he swoops in and steals the McGuffin from right from under Dom’s hood. Cena gives a playful smirk before driving off. Dom gives chase but Jakob drives right off a cliff only to be caught mid-air by a jet. It was quite the entrance showing that Cena more than belonged in the Fast and Furious world.
Cena Actually Sells for Most of the Movie in The Wall
In pro wrestling, Cena gained a bit of notoriety for being a bad seller. In wrestling lingo to sell means to react to the move as if it had been really done to you. Well, here Cena gets his chance to more than show the doubters he can do it.
In their final assignment in Iraq Army Staff Sergeant Shane Matthews gets shot by a sniper in the opening minutes. Cena thus has to lay prone on the ground or risk giving away that he is still alive and getting shot again. His very life is resting on his ability to sell. He lays prostrate on the sand longer than he ever laid down on the ring even for an Undertaker tombstone. Selling may have been a problem for him in the WWE but The Wall showed that it was second nature for him on the big screen.
Beer Bong Scene in Blockers
Desperate for information about his daughter’s whereabouts from some partying teens. John does what any father would do. He agrees to do a Beer bong challenge in exchange for her location.
Basically, he has to drink as much as he can through his butt. He has difficulty but persists and is eventually to achieve it to the delight of the frat boys around him. Cena’s physical performance and intense facial reactions are top-notch as you really buy him struggling to chug the beer from down below.
It also revealed the depths of his love for his daughter and that he really was willing to do anything for her and for the film willingly sacrificing his dignity for the sake of humor. We’re touched.
Cinema Scene in Trainwreck
Before Trainwreck, Cena’s acting career looked destined to be nothing but B-movie action junk. This is the role that shifted people’s perception of him and showed that did have the potential to be a star, especially in comedy. Cena weaponized his stiff delivery into comedic weapons which turned out to be a career saver.
When another couple scolds Steven and Amy for being too noisy Cena launches into a tirade of threats that happen to sound very sexual in nature. Cena’s super serious and unironic delivery is perfect maximizing the scene's comedic effect and making us wish the film had more of him.
Meeting Scene in Bumblebee
When government officials agree to share high-security military tech with scary alien robots no one bats an eye. No one except former U.S Army Colonel and Sector 7 agent Jack Burns played with stoic heroism by John Cena. He succinctly lays down the reason the aliens shouldn’t be trusted delivering the funniest line of the film. “They literally call themselves Decepticons.”
It is delivered with just the right amount of incredulity that no one else seems to see what to him is painfully obvious. Sadly, just like how governments now ignore the advice of scientists and experts, no one listened to Cena either and Earth paid the price. Still, John Cena was able to show why he is not just the most charismatic guy in the room but often the smartest as well.
Peacemaker and Bloodsport Show Off in The Suicide Squad
The Suicide Squad comes upon what they think is a military encampment and starts taking out the soldiers. Peacemaker and Bloodsport then engage in a pissing contest to see who can kill in a cooler fashion. It’s a violently creative scene with many memorable kills. Cena with his large physique and colorful costume against the gray forest looks like an action figure come to life. When Bloodsport states that no one likes a show-off we have to agree with Cena’s answer more. “Unless what they’re showing off is dope as f…