WWE Studios: 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded (Randy Orton)

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DVD Release Date: Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Are they any words in the English language more exciting than “direct to video sequel?” If you’re WWE Studios, the answer is “no, no there is not.”

After the surprisingly decent The Marine 3: Homefront, the very next offering from WWE’s movie division is another sequel to a John Cena movie, just with no John Cena. 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded is a sequel in name only, with Randy Orton taking on the lead role, likely as compensation for getting removed from Homefront due to his own shady Marine past.

Here Orton plays Nick Malloy, an EMT who also happens to be a super awesome fighter. The plot here is basically the same as the original 12 Rounds) but with one key difference. A villainous madman named Heller (Brian Markinson of “Mad Men”) tracks Malloy down and forces him to play a vicious game of “12 Rounds,” or his wife Sarah (Cindy Busby) will die. The only difference this time around is that we don’t know why Malloy has been targeted, it is revealed to the audience over time.

Along the way, Malloy gets involved with a drug addict named Tommy Weaver (Tom Stevens, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days) and has to bring him along for the ride. Heller has reasons for hating both of them, and they certainly don’t like each other either. On top of that, a subplot involving this missing Governor Devlin (Sebastian Spence), who is being tracked by agents McKenzie (Venus Terzo) and Sykes (Sean Rogerson). This gives Malloy multiple obstacles to overcome, along with playing Heller’s twisted game.

Along the way, Malloy destroys multiple people in hand-to-hand combat, which as far as I knew wasn’t part of EMT training (maybe it is?). The screenplay by David Benullo offers no hints that he may have a past that lend itself to being a good fighter. Malloy does have one line about being a “bad kid” while hotwiring a car, but that’s not really the same thing as physical combat, now is it?

Director Roel Reiné does a competent job with the action sequences, but the story doesn’t give him much to really work with. Orton is okay-ish in the lead role, but his work leads me to believe he would be better suited in supporting roles. 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded would’ve been more accurately titled 12 Rounds 2: Reheated.

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