12 Rounds 2: Reloaded (2013)
Review by Jude Felton
Say what you will about WWE head honcho, Vince McMahon, but there’s no denying that he’s an incredibly shrewd businessman. He knows full well that the WWE franchise is huge business, the shows are watched by millions and his bank account probably looks very healthy indeed. So, when WWE Studios make a movie, they know that they already have a built in audience, ready to lap it up.
The latest is 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded, which is a sequel to the 2009 John Cena vehicle. As was the case with The Marine, the sequel does not feature the muscle-bound patriot, but instead introduces to the big screen a far more interesting wrestler; that being Randy Orton. Orton’s wrestling persona is very entertaining, that I will admit, so I was intrigued to see how he would adapt to starring in his own movie.
The plot of 12 Rounds 2 follows Orton’s character, Nick Malloy, who is a paramedic. Whilst out on an emergency call, in an abandoned part of town, the victim receives a phone-call. Upon answering, Malloy finds out it is for him, and so begins the game. You see, at the other end of the phone is a psychopath who lives in the most high-tech dingy corridor I have ever seen, and he wants Malloy to play along with his sick game.
The game consists of 12 rounds, no less, and Nick must complete all of them, without bringing the police into it, or else his wife dies. So, what’s a heavily tattooed former wrestler-come-paramedic going to do? Well, I’d like to say that he opens a can of whoop-ass and beats the ever-loving shit out of everyone he meets. Alas to say, it’s actually all very formulaic stuff.
Admittedly, it is well made and Orton does put in a decent shift. He wasn’t quite as impressive as The Miz ended up being, in The Marine 3, but he far from embarrasses himself.
So, what we get is pretty much 90 minutes of non-stop action, car chases, foot races, a few fights, some wise-cracks, incompetent cops, blackmail, politics and a fairly uninspired bad guy.
Was it terrible? No, not really. Like I said, it was well made, and the action sequences were decent and it moves along at a fair clip. The problem is that it offers up nothing new; a man must complete tasks or wife loved one dies. It’s been done before, and it looks like it’ll be soon done again in the upcoming Getaway. So, 12 Rounds 2 won’t tax your mind and if you are a devout WWE fan I am guessing you’ll dig seeing Orton headlining a movie. I personally feel that there are better roles out there for him, so I won’t write him off.
The Blu-ray itself looked and sound fairly impressive and it does come complete with a solid selection of extras, such as an audio commentary and a handful of featurettes, along with the DVD and Digital copy of the film. You are getting your money’s worth here, even if the film isn’t all that special.
As for WWE Studios, I still maintain that their best movie to date is the Kane vehicle, See No Evil, and quite frankly I’d like to see them visit the horror genre again. Still, these movies I am sure make their money back, and with the case of 12 Rounds 2, they don’t embarrass themselves.
12 Rounds 2: Reloaded is action-packed entertainment, yet it is also very uninspired in terms of plot and execution.
12 Rounds 2: Reloaded is available now from 20th Century Fox.