In this sequel to the John Cena-led 2009 film, WWE superstar Randy Orton finds himself involved in the deadly game against a face from the past.
Nick Malloy is an emergency parademic technician who sees an accident on his way home from date night with his wife. He attempts to rescue the victims, a young boy and his mother. The mother passes away and it shatters Nick emotionally as this is the first time in his career someone he had tried to help has died. A year later, Nick and partner Jay head to an abandoned building where they find a dying victim. They find the victim and discover the victim has a tattoo with the number “1” stitched on his stomach and a bomb planted. Nick suddenly gets a phone call and when he takes it outside of the ambulance, the bomb explodes, killing the victim and seriously injuring Jay.
The man who made the call is Patrick Heller, who not only is responsible for the bomb for has decided to use Sarah, Nick’s wife, as a pawn. Nick must play 12 Rounds. As Nick goes through the rounds, he finds an unlikely ally in Tommy Weaver, who has found himself part of the deadly game. Nick must discover why Patrick wants Nick to play this game and how the mastermind is connected to Nick before it’s too late for his wife.
The original 12 Rounds, starring John Cena, had a novel concept of sorts: cop must go through series of twelve challenges against a face from the past and it was executed well, especially with a villain actor in Aiden Gillen. While Roel Reine’s direction did make this somewhat watchable, the problem comes in the script, where it is virtually a rehash of the first film, only replace a cop with an EMT and replace a charismatic villain with an over the top vigilante-like figure who simply wants answers.
On the plus side, Randy Orton is not trying to be a poor man’s Cena and attempts to play an action hero type. The original choice to replace Cena in The Marine 2, Orton was injured and instead takes over in this installment as his lead action debut. He tries his hardest not to be formulaic but in all fairness, it is the script’s doing that makes him seem uninspired. It’s pretty much a ninety-minute chase throughout the city in search of answers. It’s merely a case of “seen this in the original, why change the formula?” Reine is a pretty good action film director, but even his talent behind the cameras doesn’t completely do the film justice.
The villain of the piece, played by Brian Markinson, just doesn’t have the charismatic slyness that Aiden Gillen’s original villain possessed. Instead, we have a straightforward at times over the top performance as a vigilante of sorts who makes out EMT his pawn in the deadly game of 12 Rounds. One can only wonder who our villain here even thought of the concept. Did he have watch anything involving the original film? It is never certain. What is certain is that this is one villain you just want to see get his from the get-go.
12 Rounds 2: Reloaded is a somewhat boring rehash of the original film. Randy Orton tries his hardest but the script just fails on all levels, not to mention a villain who lacks any depth and is more of an annoyance.
WFG RATING: C-
20th Century Fox presents a WWE Studios production. Director: Roel Reine. Producers: Chris Foss and Michael Luisi. Writer: David Benullo. Cinematography: Anthony C. Metchie. Editing: Radu Ion.
Cast: Randy Orton, Tom Stevens, Brian Markinson, Venus Terzo, Cindy Busby, Sean Rogerson, Colin Lawrence