After WWE superstars John Cena and Randy Orton played the deadly cat-and-mouse game, the title 12 Rounds takes on a new meaning in this threequel, which marks the film debut of another WWE superstar, Dean Ambrose.
After serving a seven-month suspension due to negligence that killed a rookie officer, John Shaw is back on the force, serving desk duty. His ex-partner Burke has become one of the most respected officers in the field with his team due to the fact they stopped and were forced to kill local drug lord George Freemont. Shaw suspects something doesn’t make sense. When he learns that rookie officer Taylor is sending some evidence from Freemont’s body, he requests to look at it. What Shaw soon discovers will make his first day back a truly hellish experience.
Upon learning Shaw’s discovery, a flashdrive that has photographs of Burke selling drugs, Burke and his team sends everyone out of the building and puts the precinct on lockdown to trap Shaw. With only twelve rounds in his gun, Shaw must do whatever it takes to prove Burke is dirty without getting killed. However, what will happen when Shaw becomes the fall guy due to Burke’s high reputation?
The first two installments of the 12 Rounds series revolved around a cop and EMT who were forced to play a deadly game with villains from their pasts. WWE superstars John Cena and Randy Orton were truly at the top of their games when these two were made. So for this new installment, the title takes on a new meaning with a Die Hard-esque style plot that features another wrestler who is currently a popular name in the ring: Dean Ambrose.
In terms of low budget action films, Ambrose fares pretty well as hero Shaw. Ambrose, who makes his film debut here, plays it straight and occasionally gives a smartass remark when confronted. For those who have seen him in the squared circle, it is pretty much a few notches down from his in-ring persona and yet it works well here. Ambrose admitted in an interview he really enjoyed the fight scenes, which are more a roughhouse style with fist fights and throwdowns as opposed to wrestling moves or flashy kicking and tricking. The tone of the action, choreographed by Dan Rizzuto (WWE’s usual fight coordinator in films), are just a perfect fit for this genre.
Roger Cross, who somewhat resembles They Live actor Keith David, plays it smooth yet can be tenacious as the evil Burke. His team members include the likes of former X-Men actor Daniel Cudmore, Ty Olsson, and Lochlyn Munro as the computer expert of the group. Munro is usually affiliated with comedies, but does quite well with taking a back seat to to let the others do the more physical work. Cudmore and Olsson have pretty short but sweet duke em outs with Ambrose in the film.
If you’re expecting an action masterpiece, don’t look this way. But if you’re looking for something entertaining, then it’s safe to check out 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown. Dean Ambrose does pretty well for a debut performance.
WFG RATING: B-
Lionsgate Films present a WWE Studios production. Director: Stephen Reynolds. Producer: Michael J. Luisi. Writers: Nathan Brookes and Bobby Lee Darby. Cinematography: Mahlon Todd Williams. Editing: Sam Bauer.
Cast: Dean Ambrose, Roger Cross, Daniel Cudmore, Lochlyn Munro, Ty Olsson, Sarah Smyth, Rebecca Marshall, Samuel Smith, Toby Levins, James Michalopoulos, Jaeson Lee, Sharon Taylor, Hugo Steele, Matthew Harrison.