Twitter Plot Summary: Randy Orton plays an EMT who has to complete 12 dangerous rounds or else his wife will be killed.
Five Point Summary:
1. Put your cleavage away, woman. Now isn’t the time. 2. Is he going to have to pay for that ambulance?
3. They’re moving through the rounds far too quickly.
4. This evil plot of his… it’s not very good, is it?
5. So the plot thickens… into custard. And then it ends.
The original 12 Rounds was an entertaining film, led by a somewhat competent turn from John Cena. It would have been ridiculous to play out the same events with Cena’s character a second time. Instead, this sequel takes that plot and hands it to Randy Orton’s EMT Nick Malloy. He is a man who, 12 months ago, is almost hit by a car, an accident that results in the death of a woman. A year later, he’s then called out on a job to assist a man who has a (badly) hidden device inserted into him. Once that goes kaboom, Nick has to take part in 12 challenges. Challenges set up by a mysterious man who has direct access to all the CCTV cameras in the city. If Nick fails any one challenge, his wife will die.
Randy Orton isn’t in the same league as John Cena. But he’s leagues ahead of many other WWE alumni who over the years have been thrust into the movie world. Hulk Hogan, we’re looking at you. Orton is at least capable of handling the dialogue, such as it is. There’s no question of him managing with the more physical moments. He bashes skulls and threatens everyone who gets in his way with reckless abandon. Quite a physical chap given that he’s a medic.
In its favour, 12 Rounds 2 is stylish and well directed. The night time city setting adding a veneer of polish, but this is surface level detail. If you were to look at it any closer you’d see gaps a mile wide. The entertaining action aside, this is nothing more than a cheap knock-off of the original. Suffice to say, the budget is much lower this time round, and it shows. The night time setting goes a little way in hiding the lack of money, but only to a point. The big action set pieces of 12 Rounds are reduced to an ambulance exploding and a fight in a warehouse.
Randy Ortin… slithering!
The film is worse for its bad acting. That and a script that is intent on rushing through the 12 rounds with even less subtlety than the first. It also suffers from a completely ridiculous villain. His motivations for putting Malloy through those 12 rounds are understandable, but daft. Brian Markinson decided to ignore the occasional moment of pathos his dialogue permits,. Instead he approaches everything as if he’s attempting to win the award for Angriest Acting 2013. He only saw his pay cheque after agreeing to be in the film, it seems.
WWE Films have carved out a niche for themselves in the market. Yet they insist on rehashing ideas with generic scripts and characters. It’s clear that they use a cookie cutter template for each lead character’s story arc. This means they push out material that is sub-par even by direct to DVD/Blu-Ray standards. 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded is entertaining enough in itself and Randy Orton is solid. Yet it deserves an RKO for not doing anything interesting with the format.