Great news, everyone! Following on from the overwhelming critical acclaim and resounding box office success that was skilfully avoided by Leprechaun: Origins and The Marine 4: Moving Target, the wrestling overlords at WWE have added yet another string to their movie division's bow with 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown. They just can't keep their hands off a sequel that doesn't need to be made, especially if it's got a colon in the title.
In the first two instalments of the 12 Rounds franchise, the title referred to a series of twelve tasks/clues/puzzles that had to be navigated by the main protagonist, in order to save their wives/girlfriends from insane criminal masterminds. This time, however, the plot is slightly different but no less predictable.
WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose is Detective John Shaw, recently returned to duty after dealing with the death of his partner and a bout of post-traumatic stress disorder. Immediately finding himself in the middle of a game of cat and mouse in a locked-down police station, centred around credit card-shaped flash drive containing super-important evidence of police corruption, probably wasn't how he wanted his first week back at work to go, but that's exactly the type of thing you have to deal with if you're a cop in a dodgy action flick. It's a standard action film premise that, unfortunately, about a million other films have had much more success with in the past.
12 Rounds 3 isn't a badly made film, it's just that the content is so utterly lame and inexcusably awful. If you look closely enough, you can occasionally see some of the cast member’s eyes glaze over, while they wish they were somewhere very, very far away. Every single plot point is so obviously signposted, that they might as well have flashed up some 1980's style wrestling promos in one corner of the screen, where CGI versions of the WWF's all-time greatest heroes bellow semi-coherent sentences at the viewer. “HE JUST LOOKED AT HIS GUN AND SAID THE WORDS “TWELVE ROUNDS” OUT LOUD. HE'S GOT TWELVE BULLETS. DID YOU GET THAT? TWELVE ROUNDS. BECAUSETHAT'STHENAMEOFTHEMOVIE”.
Do please excuse all of this facetiousness; it's just that the only way you're going to get any enjoyment out of 12 Rounds 3 is by taking the mickey out of it. Genuinely honestly, it took four attempts to get to the end of this movie without falling asleep. Four. That shouldn't be a thing, should it? What that means is that instead of just watching this movie for 90 minutes and getting it over and done with, in total we've probably endured about four and a half hours of this nonsense. That definitely shouldn't be a thing.
And the best news of all is that this is only the second part of what's being called the “Action Six-Pack” series, a bunch of films that are to be co-produced by WWE Studios and distributors Lionsgate. The first part of the series was apparently called Vendetta, released in 2015 and starring former Superman Dean Cain. Who knew? Not us, that's for sure. And we watch WWE Raw and subscribe to the Network and everything! Still, here's to four more great adventures still to come!
We really can't give 12 Rounds 3 a nine (ninety nine - Network “joke”), or even an Action-Packed six. It's painfully average, which you'd think would be about a 5, but we're going to have to knock another point off for the almost insultingly paper-thin “plot”. Sorry, 12 Rounds 3. May your fourth be much much better.
12 ROUNDS 3: LOCKDOWN / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: STEPHEN REYNOLDS / STARRING: DEAN AMBROSE, ROGER R. CROSS, DANIEL CUDMORE, LOCHLYN MUNRO, TY OLSSON / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW