Another professional wrestler breaks into the action movie game as Randy Orton stars in 12 Rounds 2 Reloaded. Despite the title, this is not a sequel to the first 12 Rounds which also starred a wrestler (John Cena). Though the premise is basically the same, the characters are all different in a tale of revenge played out as a cat and mouse race against time. Don't expect feature movie quality in this made-for-home video release which has definite script and direction issues.
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Run Time: 1 Hr. 34 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copykeep case
Disc Type: BD25 (single layer)
Release Date: 06/04/2013
Skilled EMT Nick Malloy (Randy Orton) rushes to an accident site only to find the injured man wired with a bomb inside him and a voice over his cell phone informing him that Nick’s wife Sarah (Cindy Busby) is being held hostage as Nick must jump through twelve rounds of hoops in order not only to save his spouse but also to prevent additional explosions from going off around the city. Along the way, Nick picks up recently released from rehab punk Tommy (Tom Stevens) who has his own role in the day’s events. About halfway through their endeavors, Nick and Tommy become aware that their tormentor is a man named Heller (Brian Markinson) who has a very personal reason for involving not only Tom, Nick, and Sarah, but also Tom’s father (Sebastian Spence) and several others in his maniacal plan of revenge.
The Production Rating: 2/5
The script by David Benullo is full of holes and is in desperate need of a complete rewrite. While the revenge angle has possibilities, the dramatic license that must be taken throughout in order for Heller’s plans to work ask a great deal from a viewer in terms of buying into the film and turning off his brain in order to simply settle back and enjoy it (Heller’s scheme involves tons of surveillance with sophisticated equipment which would have cost a bundle and his planting of bombs in a number of vehicles had to have taken weeks of planning and implementation, none of which is shown, and has to be taken on faith that no one else would have noticed anything askew in the meantime). And one's enjoyment is tempered by the film’s continual continuity problems with rain (filmed in Vancouver on a very small budget where rain or shine, shooting carried on: this accounts for sequences where it’s pouring rain from one angle and from another, the streets are dry and so are everyone’s clothes). Not only that, but director Roel Reiné’s work is extremely erratic with some nicely staged scenes (many involving chases through the city) mixed in with some badly staged and shot ones (a fight with several police officers allows Orton to show off his fisticuffs and grappling skills but much is missed due to sloppy camerawork).
Randy Orton is completely at ease before the camera (a decade on television playing both hero and villain has been an enormous benefit) and plays his part well conveying equal parts courage and desperation as the game becomes more and more critical to his wife’s well being. Tom Stevens does well, too, as the spoiled rich kid whose initial mistake drives the entire enterprise forward. Brian Markinson doesn’t turn up the obvious crazy until late in the game making his monomaniacal Keller a fascinating enigma that is finally solved by movie’s end. Cindy Busby is adequate as the wife in danger, and Venus Terzo and especially Sean Rogerson as detectives with considerably more personal stakes in the story than it first appears also do well.
The film has been framed at 1.78:1 for this original home video release and is presented in 1080p using the AVC codec. Shot digitally and mostly at night, the film doesn’t feature either exacting sharpness nor incredible detail. It’s a mostly pleasing image with accurate flesh tones and more than adequate black levels. The film has been divided into 24 chapters.
Video Rating: 4/5 3D Rating: NA
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix doesn’t really deliver the intense action thrills in the surround soundfield that a higher budgeted movie would present. Nathan Furst’s music provides most of the sound activity in the rears while the sound effects are more spread across the front channels with very little being directed elsewhere. There is a decent amount of LFE channel activity. With the numbers of explosions, wrecks, and chases, the sound design would have suffered immeasurably were this not the case. DIalogue has been well recorded and appears in the center channel.
Audio Rating: 4/5
Audio Commentary: director Roel Reiné and film editor Radu Ion chat amicably about their experiences making the film, this being the most recent of many joint enterprises together.
Special Features Rating: 3/5
Randy Orton Reloaded (8:12, HD): the first of three EPK featurettes, this one not only features some sound bites from the WWE superstar wrestler but also from co-stars Tom Stevens and Cindy Busby along with director Roel Reiné about the casting and the movie.
The Action of 12 Rounds 2 Reloaded (8:34, HD): the film’s director and stunt coordinator discuss various stunts in the movie including fight scenes, trick driving stunts, and the use of real-life firefighters and SWAT team members in the assault and fire sequences.
Locations: From Heller’s Lair to the Sugar Factory (6:58, HD): concentrates on those two primary locales for the film featuring co-star Brian Markinson who figures prominently in both sequences along with Cindy Busby and Tom Stevens.
Promo Trailers (HD): A Good Day to Die Hard, Broken City.
Fans of Randy Orton will want to see how he acquits himself in a leading role in a movie, and the athlete-turned-actor does just fine with the dramatics and action in an otherwise poorly plotted and mediocrely executed action melodrama made for home video.
Overall Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewed By: Matt Hough
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