VOD film review: 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown
Ivan Radford | On 31, Dec 2015
Director: Stephen Reynolds
Cast: Dean Ambrose, Roger R. Cross
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Back in 2002, The Rock starred in The Scorpion King, a spin-off from a sequel to The Mummy. It was unmemorable in every way, but it did mark a key moment in modern cinema history: the formation of WWE Studios. Yes, wrestling had entered the movie business.
Since then, the subsidiary of WWE has produced multiple feature films, all starring wrestlers, to varying degrees of success. In 2009, John Cena appeared in 12 Rounds, a serviceable actioner. Six years later comes 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown, a sequel so unexpected it doesn’t even have any connection with the original.
Dean Ambrose (the stage name for Jonathan Good) plays Shaw, the one straight cop in a bent station. When he finds evidence linking the ringleader of his corrupt colleagues (Roger R. Cross) to a murder, they isolate the building before he can pass it to his superiors. That’s the “lockdown” part of the title covered, but any relevance the “12 Rounds” moniker might have had to the franchise is long gone, reducing the words to meaningless mumbo-jumbo. They could have called this sequel “Fanta Orange” or “Scabblemania” and it wouldn’t make a jot of difference.
Director Stephen Reynolds puts together the close-quarters action competently – and Ambrose can certainly be relied upon for impressive fisticuffs – but the script by Nathan Brookes and Bobby Lee Darby shows a similar disregard for the rest of the production. The characters are as interchangeable as the title, despite the aptly rough-and-ready line deliveries by the solid villain, leaving the whole affair lacking any substance. One sequence sees Shaw trying to send the information from a USB stick via the Internet to internal affairs. The email address? Internalaffairs@police.co.uk. All the while, he counts down the number of bullets left in his gun – starting from 12 – just to convince us something more intelligent is going on. As a claustrophobic survival flick (albeit one lacking the flair or originality of The Raid or Dredd), this is a serviceable knockabout, but far from a smackdown.