Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
The script, by actor turned writer John Posey, has structural problems and motivational issues in between the cliches. And Cena, a few movies into his career, is still all presence and no acting.
New York Times:
Follows a straight narrative line to its cliched ending without a deviation from formula.
It's as if the filmmakers swallowed the sports-movie handbook and regurgitated every cliche in half-digested form.
Like the inspirational sagas that show up on low-grade cable, Legendary follows a familiar blueprint designed for maximum feel-good effect.
Finally, WWE Studios has made a film that wouldn't feel out of place on the Hallmark Channel.
1985's Vision Quest is still the best movie on the subject, and that isn't saying much.
Legendary is so intent on paying heartfelt tribute to dogged young athletes that it neglects basic story needs.
Dallas Morning News:
Legendary relies heavily on veteran actors Patricia Clarkson and Danny Glover. However good they are, they're incapable of making it any better than a made-for-TV movie.
Los Angeles Times:
A school wrestling drama so mired in family-film cliches it can never shake loose the suspicion that -- not unlike certain high-gloss mat bouts -- the emotional fix is in from the get-go.
A by-the-numbers sports drama with a death grip on cliches and acting every bit as flat as the mat...
New York Post:
It may not live up to that grandiose title, but this rousingly sweet little flick is certainly nothing to go out of your way to avoid.
It's a feel-good Kleenex(TM) dispenser of a movie, and there's nothing necessarily wrong with that, but it's routine Hallmark Hall of Afterschool Special material.
For a movie with a star wrestler at the center of it, Legendary doesn't pack much of a punch.
Better thesped and helmed than its schmaltzy premise probably warrants.
Exactly what you might expect, right down to the montage of blindfolded tussling, jogging and high-fives to the tune of unrelenting inspirational music.