Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
We could ask if the WWE studios action flick '12 Rounds' deserved a sequel.  But we won't ask.  As it so happens, I enjoyed the first '12 Rounds', finding it to be a completely enjoyable waste of valuable time.  Now WWE has come up with a fresh version, a sequel in name only in the sense that it's just a remake for all intent and purposes, and while we didn't enjoy this as much as the first one, it was still a semi-enjoyable waste of time.

Nick (Randy Orton) and his lovely wife Sarah (Cindy Busby) are a couple of good looking young people walking home from the movies.  I could also mention that this movie theater, judging from the overhead shot that opened this film, looked to be a good eight miles away so I don't exactly know where they are walking from, but we're rolling with it.  Suddenly, there's a car crash and Nick, a trained EMT, jumps into action.  He does everything in his power, saving two people in this crash, but alas, a lady dies and Nick is sad.  Life goes on.

Or at least it goes on for most of us.  A year has passed and while on an EMT run, Nick and his doomed black partner get a call.  This man on the other line, who we will come to know as Mr. Heller (Brian Markinson), has set up a little game for Nick to play.  Nick will be presented with a series of challenges in the form of 'rounds' and if he should win more rounds than he loses, then the life of his lovely wife will be spared.  Nick is like 'say what….' And then Heller blows up Nick's ambulance.  Round one… epic fail.

Now Nick knows this clown is for real as he gets dispatched across somewhere in Canada to handle a series of increasingly mundane tasks, usually with a bomb involved in some way or another with his and the life of the one he loves at stake.  There are some other things going on which may, or may not be related to the Nick's dilemma, such as the mayor of this city
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missing for the last couple of days, and a potential crime being investigated by tough detective McKenzie (Venus Terzo).  Things get a little more complicated for Nick when one of his tasks involve picking up some random drug addict in Tommy (Tom Stevens), which has also piqued the detectives interest as the connection between Nick, the missing mayor, and this drug addict are starting to come together.

Regardless of all of that, and with Nick now knowing why he was chosen for these tasks, Heller has promised if Nick simply completes the missions, all will be well.  Heller is less than truthful about this.  And the countdown to triple zero will begin.

To be honest with you my friends, 12 Rounds: Reloaded is a movie that doesn't really welcome, or even rate any kind of serious or non-serious criticism for that matter.  It is about as standard and as rote an action movie that you are going to see.  It's functional, but forgettable.

To craft this opus, WWE studios has hired veteran Straight to DVD director Roel Reine, and while no one here is going call Mr. Reine the second coming of Antoine Fuqua when it comes to directing these action movies, he certainly knows what he is doing in the field that he works in.  The action comes at a nice clip, the movie is paced well enough that it blows past the various holes in the plot with supreme recklessness, and while the general plot lines follow action movie convention almost to a fault, at least we weren't bored to death watching these conventions unfold.

As far as the performance are concerned, Randy Orton made for a solid action hero, although his character of Nick Malloy was presented to us as more along the lines as just a normal dude, albeit a normal dude who clearly works out a lot, but he wasn't presented as some kind of supreme badass.  Personally, I prefer supreme, invincible badasses in my low budget action movies.  Not dudes who are getting pummeled by our bad guy, who has one hand on a steering wheel and another hand on Nick's neck choking him out.  And mind you this is actor Brian Markinson doing this to our hero, a man who looks to be twenty years older than our hero, a full foot shorter, weighs 100 pounds less, and who looks like he only lifts weights if they are in his way as he's heading to the refrigerator.  Now Markinson made for a good bad guy, he just didn't look like the kind of guy who could beat up Randy Orton is all.

To the credit of WWE studios, out of the movies of theirs that I have seen, and there have been a few, none of them, to my memory, have been gawdawful.  But most have been pretty mediocre.  Like this one.  12 Rounds: Reloaded is functional entertainment, but the truth of the matter is that's all it is.
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