Countdown (2016)

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WWE superstar Dolph Ziggler makes his film debut in this action film that actually proves itself not to be that bad.

Ray Fitzpatrick is a Seattle detective who while still reeling from the loss of his son, has busted notorious gun runner Nikolai and his men. However, his unorthodox manner has drawn the ire of his former partner Kendricks, whom he shot for the bust to be a success; his boss Lt. Cronin, and even Internal Affairs agent Julia Baker, who orders that Fitzpatrick be suspended for his actions. However, that is about to become the least of Ray’s problems.

When Ray finds himself involved in the kidnapping and 2 million dollar ransom of a young boy, he is shocked to learn the boy has a bomb strapped to him. The ransom is to be delivered at a WWE event and when Ray arrives, he confronts the man responsible for the kidnapping and a scuffle ends in the death of the kidnapper. Learning he now has only six hours and forty-two minutes to find the boy, he must team with Julia, who realizes she made a mistake having him suspended, to find the boy. However, it will be no easy task as Ray finds himself in trouble with both thugs and even his own fellow policemen, all in a chase to rescue the boy before the bomb goes off.

WWE, the sports entertainment company, unleashes another action thriller that marks the debut of another one of its superstars. In this one, we have Dolph Ziggler in the role of an embittered detective who is the only one capable of preventing a bomb to go off. Ziggler carries the role pretty decently for a lead role debut. We see his character dealing with the death of his son and it is that tragedy that becomes his motivator for getting this particular job done.

What many will find interesting is the casting of another WWE superstar, Kane, and actress Katharine Isabelle. These two appeared together in the horror sequel See No Evil 2. Both are more known for their work in horror films and it is refreshing to see them in something other than horror films. Kane plays the straight-laced superior officer to Ziggler’s Ray and does quite a good job pulling it off while Isabelle shows she doesn’t have to resort to being a scream queen with her role of a tough Internal Affairs agent who becomes Ray’s true partner in the kidnapping case. In other words, they prove they can do something other than horror with their roles.

Once again, Dan Rizzuto served as the film’s fight choreographer. Another WWE superstar, Rusev, makes a cameo appearance as himself as he mistakes Ray for a thug and points a gun at him. Ziggler’s response, a superkick followed by a throw against a wall. However, a nicely edited fight scene involves Ray taking on some of his fellow policemen after both Cronin and the very arrogant Kendricks, played by Josh Blacker, begin to think Ray may have something to do with the kidnapping. There’s no wrestling moves involved per se, but more grounded close quarter combat that looks pretty good. There are a few chase scenes in the film that sometimes look good, and sometimes, not so exciting. But it’s still overall not too bad.

Countdown seems run of the mill, but it works out quite well and as mentioned, Dolph Ziggler makes the most of his lead role debut and it is refreshing to see Kane and Katharine Isabelle in a different light.

WFG RATING: B

Lionsgate presents a WWE Studios production. Director: John Stockwell. Producer: Michael J. Luisi. Writers: Michael Finch and Richard Wenk. Editing: Rick Shaine

Cast: Dolph Ziggler, Katharine Isabelle, Glenn Jacobs, Josh Blacker, Alexander Kalugin, Alexander Mandra, Luke Roessler, Alan O’Silva, Zinaid Memisevic, CJ Perry, Miroslav Barnyashev.

 

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