Released by: 20th Century Fox
Released on: June 4, 2013.
Director: Roel Reiné
Cast: Randy Orton
Year: 2013 Purchase From Amazon
You might not guess it but the proof is here – obviously those WWE produced straight to video action movies starring different wrestlers as different actions heroes are, despite the fact that they tend to be very generic, doing well enough that we’re now starting to see sequels pop up. Case in point, 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded, which marks the feature film starring debut of Randy Orton.
In the movie, directed by Roel Reiné (who not only helmed Death Race 3: Inferno but also directed The Miz in The Marine 2 for WWE Films last year), Orton plays Nick Malloy, an Emergency Medical Technician who does his job as well as he can. When he’s not saving lives, he’s hanging out with his hot wife, Sarah (Cindy Bubsy). One night, after a date, they witness a car accident. Nick does what he can but fails to save one of the victims, and it eats him up inside. He’s very sensitive.
A year later, there’s another car crash and though at first it seems little more than a coincidence, but when they find one of the men has a bomb sewn into his gut, he realizes something is up. Once his wife winds up kidnapped, it becomes apparent that someone has targeted him for a game and that if he goes to the cops or won’t play, Sarah will be executed. And so begins Nick’s race against time, to find his wife and save her without getting killed in the different little challenges that our resident psychopath has set up for him.
Heavily influenced by the Saw movies, 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded (an awkward sounding title for a movie if ever there was one) moves at a good pace and features a few moderately exciting action set pieces. The violence is strong enough that there should be some impact but the character development, or more specifically the lack thereof, prevents that from happening. We don’t really ever wind up caring about anyone in the movie all that much, not enough to really get into it. As such, there are superficial thrills to be had here but not a whole lot more than that.
Orton is fine in the lead. He looks tough and he handles himself well, physically speaking, in the action sequences. If he doesn’t have record setting range in the acting department, well, the movie doesn’t really ask for too much of that anyway, which makes him a decent fit. The story is pretty predictable, it plays out very much by the book. But you could do worse. It moves quickly, it has some great locations (including a spooky abandoned hospital) that actually give it a bit of atmosphere at times and if nothing else, it makes for perfectly acceptable B-grade action movie entertainment.
12 Rounds 2: Reloaded arrives on Blu-ray in an anamorphic 1.78.1 widescreen presentation with AVC encoding in 1080p high definition. The locations look nice and offer occasionally impressive use of color and texture to ogle in the background, but a lot of times the colors look intentionally unsaturated. Skin tones are good, if leaning towards the hot side of things periodically, while black levels remain dark and pretty strong. There aren't any compression artifacts or edge enhancement issues of note, but there are instances of ringing throughout and some of the darker scenes look a bit noisy. This has got to be an upgrade over the SD release, you can see a pretty impressive level of detail in close ups and sporadic medium and long distance shots. All in all, the movie looks pretty good here in high definition.
The English language DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix on this release is solid. The lower end is nice and strong and the plentiful explosions and gun shots all hit pretty hard from every corner of the front of the soundstage. Note the use of the word front there – surprisingly enough, rear channel activity here is a bit subdued. Otherwise, dialogue is well balanced and mixed in nicely ensuring that you won't have any trouble understanding the performers while the score has some nice liveliness to it. Not much to complain about here, really, it all sounds quite good. Subtitles are provided in English, Spanish, and French.
Extras start off with an audio commentary comprised of input from director Roel Reiné and editor Radu Ion. It’s a reasonably interesting talk as it not only covers who did what and why but occasionally gets into the nitty-gritty of trying to accomplish a lot on screen without a huge budget to pull from. As such, we learn about how they overcame some of their budgetary obstacles to get what they needed to finish the movie. There’s also a fair bit of talk about the stunts and set pieces and about working with Randy Orton and the rest of the cast.
From there we move on to the three featurettes, the first of which is the eight minute Randy Orton Reloaded piece which is basically a collection of talking head interview clips with the cast and crew, all of whom gush about working with Orton on his feature film debut. Orton also pops up here to talk about how much he enjoyed working with them. Everyone is very happy here. The second feature is the eight minute The Action of 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded and it’s a look at how the action set pieces that are so important to a movie like this were shot. It’s fairly interesting and some of the behind the scenes footage is pretty nifty. Last but not least, we get Locations: From Heller's Lair to the Sugar Factory, a seven minute piece that showcases the location photography that took place in Vancouver and inside the abandoned Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam. As this is a combo pack, a DVD version of the movie with identical extra features is included as is a digital copy.
The Final Word:
12 Rounds 2: Reloaded is so completely by the numbers that you’ll be able to sit there and pretty much spout off about where the movie is going to go before it even goes there. Orton is decent enough in the lead but isn’t given much to do in the way of actually acting. The locations are cool and the action scenes are alright, this is fine as mindless entertainment, just don’t expect much in the way of originality.
Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!