run time: 95 mins
considered: Action, Adventure, Thriller
starring: Randy Orton, Tom Stevens, Brian Markinson, Venus Terzo, Cindy Busby, Sebastian Spence
movie summary: The World Wrestling Entertainment created their own production company back in the early 2000’s to promote movies starring their own wrestlers. After the modest success of 12 Rounds starring John Cena back in 2009, WWE decided four years later to make a sequel with a whole new set of characters.
Nick Malloy (Randy Orton) is an EMT who happens to be walking home from a night out with his wife Sarah (Cindy Busby) when a car accident occurs right in front of them. Nick grabs his first aid kit out of his car and provides treatments until the ambulances get there. There are several injures to the family in the SUV that was side swiped, but only the mom dies. The husband cries in agony over his wife’s body while the drunk driver from the other car is arrested.
Fast forward one year later, on the anniversary of the accident, Nick is out on his shift when a distress call comes in for a stabbing victim in the shady part of town. When they arrive on the scene the wounded man has a device inserted into his stomach. During the initial assessment Nick steps out to take a strange phone call on his cell and within in seconds the ambulance is blown up and Nick’s partner is on fire. After patting his partner down and calling 911, the mysterious voice on the phone informs Nick the game has begun and that if he ever wants to see his wife Sarah again he must go through a 12 round game.
Nick is furious and demands to see his wife but has no choice but to play along. He receives a text and finds a car waiting for him, inside is the next clue which leads him to a hotel. Inside in the hotel he beats up the manager and goes door to door looking for his next clue. On the fourth floor he finds two people snorting crack, Tommy Weaver (Tom Stevens) and his girlfriend Amber. Nick beats Tommy up to get the next clue out of him, but Tommy has no clue what is going on. Nick discovers that Tommy has a past criminal record and drags him out of the hotel and back to the car. Tommy is currently wearing a house arrest monitor device so the cops are following them. A cell phone rings in the trunk so they pull over to discover Tommy’s lawyer is dead in the trunk. Her phone rings and it’s the mysterious voice again to remind Nick that Round 6 has started and that he needs to go to a certain address and answer a payphone.
When the pair reach the address Nick realizes this is the scene of the accident and when the phone rings the voice tells him a story about the accident. The man behind the whole game is Patrick Heller (Brian Markinson) who lost his wife a year ago because of Nick’s lack of effort to save her. Round 7 and 8 are about to start but Nick and Tommy end up getting busted by the cops on the way. Nick manages to steal a cop car and lead the force on a wild chase before getting stranded on the roof of a parking garage. He convinces lead detective McKenzie (Venus Terzo) that Nick is innocent of kidnapping and that he has to play out this game in order to get his wife back. She releases the guys and they head to a sugar factory. Inside they find Tommy’s dad, the Governor, who has been missing for three days. He is stuck in a sand pit with sand continuously pouring down on him, Nick manages to stop the down pour by Keller shows up and shots Tommy’s dad. Nick is reunited with Sarah but both are knocked out by Keller who kidnap them.
Round 10 involves a tied up Tommy making a life or death choice by choosing the right drink, while Nick and Sarah wake up in an SUV parked outside the nightclub where Tommy got drunk a year ago. Round 11 and 12 begin when Keller explains the SUV has a bomb attached to the bottom and the timer has started. While driving to the scene of the fatal crash, he calls calls 911 to report an accident. Nick is all tied up but must break free, save Sarah, and escape the SUV before time runs out.
my thoughts: In my previous review I praised the first 12 Rounds movie for its action, creative story, and John Cena’s acting abilities, but this second installment of the series was flat-out brutal. This movie’s potential for greatness can be summed up by the fact it was not given a theatrical release but went right to DVD and Blu-Ray, also it was shot in only 20 days! Good movies take a little bit more time than that, so unfortunately for Randy Orton and WWE Studios this movie was destined to fail.
12 Rounds 2: Reloaded came out on Netflix a few weeks ago and I was curious about watching it and comparing it. This 95 min movie was really hard to get into because the story is lame, predictable, and didn’t provide enough action to keep me entertained. Randy Orton doesn’t have the greatest personality on weekly WWE wrestling programming and his lack of acting skills showed in this headline role. He wants to come across as a macho tough guy but doesn’t sell it all that well. Orton doesn’t display the same amount of emotion depicted by game creator Brian Markinson. He has let his emotions build up for a year and when the game comes together he breaks down because he is finally able to get his revenge. The two don’t have the same chemistry that John Cena and Aidan Gillen shared in the first film and this can be added to the pile of everything wrong with this film.
I would recommend that if you see this on Netflix that you skip past it because 12 Round 2: Reloaded it is not worth sitting through.
my star rating: 2 out 10