Bullet Points: 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown
This past Friday, 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown, the latest movie from WWE Studios was released in select theaters and to the world of VOD.
12 Rounds 3: Lockdown is the first acting role for WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose. 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown is also the first time I have ever reviewed a movie that starred someone I worked with in the past. Ambrose, when he was known as Jon Moxley, was in the Heartland Wrestling Association the same time I was.
Moxley going to the WWE seemed to be inevitable, but it wasn’t until I actually saw Mox make his WWE debut at Survivor Series 2012 that it really sunk in that this was happening. As time went on and seeing him share the ring with guys like The Undertaker, Triple H, Ric Flair and The Rock it felt, as one of the most overused cliches goes, surreal. Then to see the guy I saw wrestle in gyms and dilapidated opera houses on wrestling’s grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania, was mind blowing.
While his wrestling success seemed like destiny, nobody would have ever predicted that Jon Moxley/Dean Ambrose would have the chance to be an action star. However it has happened and now here is my very special 12 Bullet Points review of 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown…
- The Gist: Ambrose plays Detective Shaw, a cop coming back from a leave of absence after he was shot and his rookie partner was killed. He immediately butts heads with a former partner of his, Burke. Shaw is treated like a leper upon his return since many of his fellow cops blame Shaw for allowing his partner to be killed. Meanwhile Burke is seen as a conquering hero who just took down a criminal who tried to kill him, when in reality Burke is the ring leader of a bunch of dirty cops. When Shaw discovers there is evidence that can bring Burke and his crew down and Burke finds out that Shaw has this evidence, Burke puts the police station on lockdown, thus setting up a deadly game of cat and mouse between Burke and his crew vs. Shaw.
- Acting Chops: Those familiar with Ambrose’s work inside the squared circle, know that Ambrose can throw a chop. But what about his acting chops? Did I believe that Dean Ambrose was Detective John Shaw? The answer is yes. Ambrose did an admirable job in his rookie movie performance and I believed him as the straight laced, no nonsense, always do the right thing cop. It was definitely a departure from the “Lunatic Fringe” character we have grown accustomed to every week on TV. But where he really shows off his acting ability is in the scenes involving technology. The Dean Ambrose I knew from our days together in the Heartland Wrestling Association did not know how to manually override a network server in an attempt to upload some incriminating evidence to the folks over at Internal Affairs. I’m not sure at that point in his life he even owned a computer, but in 12 Rounds 3, he made it look like he knew what he was doing. That is called ACTING!
- The Man They Call Burke: Knowing they had a rookie actor in the role of the hero, the producers wisely surrounded Ambrose with some veteran actors, and one of the real scene stealers in this movie is Roger R. Cross, who plays the dirtiest of the dirty cops, Burke. Cross is most effective in his role and you want to see him get his comeuppance right at the start of the movie and the desire to see him taken down intensifies as the movie rolls on.
- Lochlyn Munro: The most recognizable star in the movie, aside from Ambrose, is Canada’s own, Lochlyn Munro. Munro plays Darrow, one of the members of Burke’s crew, who takes over the security room and has his eyes on Shaw through the closed circuit cameras, giving Team Burke not only a numbers advantage but an intel advantage too. I always associate Munro with his role in Freddy vs. Jason, but his action resume includes films like The Art of War II: Betrayal with Wesley Snipes, High Voltage with Antonio Sabato Jr and Recoil with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Danny Trejo. 12 Rounds 3 was shot in Munro’s home country of Canada.
- Bang For Your Buck: There’s about 20-25 minutes of backstory and build up and then it is non-stop action after that. If you like your action movies, heavy on action, you will enjoy 12 Rounds 3!
- Die Hard Formula: 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown is the latest film to use the proven Die Hard formula, this time making it Die Hard in a police precinct.
- Rated R: When Burke is told about a piece of evidence that was discovered in his most recent case, the call interrupts his love making. Now Burke could have just as easily been eating a bowl of cereal, watching Wheel of Fortune or waxing his car when the call came in. But the movie knew that with all the violence, killing and adult language they were going to get an R rating so why not throw in some boobs for good measure!? It’s not like a movie can be rated Triple R.
- Best Death: While I would have to say impaling deaths are my favorite in action flicks, my second favorite is quickly becoming grenade related deaths and 12 Rounds 3 has a HIGH QUALITY grenade related death!
- The Christmas Spirit: Shaw has the line of the movie and it involves of all things a Christmas card reference. I will say it is nice that after all that goes down between Shaw and Burke, that Shaw was still planning on thinking of his former partner during the most wonderful time of the year.
- Top Gun: Shaw is protective of a rookie officer who is trapped inside the precinct with him, Officer Jenny Taylor. This is due to the painful memory of the death of Shaw’s rookie partner, Ray. Here’s a little fun fact about Ambrose and rookies for our pro wrestling/action movie fans… Ambrose was at one time the head trainer for the HWA’s wrestling school and when he assumed that position, he named it the Top Gun Wrestling Academy. He chose this name because he is a huge fan of the Tom Cruise film, Top Gun.
- Follow in the Footsteps: Ambrose is the third WWE Superstar to star in WWE Studios 12 Rounds franchise. Ambrose joins John Cena (star of 12 Rounds) and Randy Orton (star of 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded). Cena and Orton have headlined WrestleManias and have held the world championship on many occasions. No doubt fans of Dean Ambrose hope he will join Cena and Orton in that respect as well as his in-ring career continues.
- Two Thumbs Up?: I will not name names, but I was told that if I did not give this movie two thumbs up that my thumbs would be broken. I don’t ordinarily give movies thumbs up or thumbs down since I’m not Siskel or Ebert, but in this scenario I will gladly give 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown two thumbs up!! And I don’t do it out of fear, but because this was an above average action movie. Ambrose did show potential as an action star. I would like to see his next role play more into the unpredictability of his personality. And I think Ambrose in the villain role could be highly entertaining and would showcase more of his natural talent.