Bullet Points: Countdown
In any given week there are two forms of entertainment I’m watching more than any other. Action movies and professional wrestling.
Thanks to the fine folks over at WWE Studios and their deal with Lionsgate, these two worlds have been colliding more and more. The latest WWE Studios release, Countdown, features the acting debut of WWE Superstar Dolph Ziggler.
- Meet Your Hero: Dolph Ziggler (aka Nick Nemeth) plays maverick cop Ray Thompson. Our introduction to Ray has him going undercover with Kendricks, a fellow detective out of the Seattle Police Department. The two are looking to take down a Russian arms dealer by the name of Nikolai (Alexander Kalugin of The Chronicles of Riddick fame). When Nikolai suspects that Kendricks may be a cop and that cops usually come in pairs, Ray does the only reasonable thing he can do… he shoots Kendricks in the chest to prove he’s not a cop and that if Kendricks was, he’s now a dead cop. Having gained Nikolai’s trust, Ray gets a look at the merchandise and minutes later Nikolai’s place of business is swarming with cops. And just an FYI, Kendricks was wearing a bulletproof vest, so he’s not dead, but he officially puts Thompson on his sh*t list.
- He’ll Never Be Employee of the Month: After what some would consider a job well done, Ray is called into Lt. Kronin’s office. Kronin (Glenn Jacobs aka WWE Superstar Kane) is joined by special investigator Julia Baker (Katherine Isabelle of Rapid Fire fame). Baker polices the police and after going through six partners in two years and shooting his most recent partner in the chest, Ray is suspended and his future as a member of the Seattle Police Department is in serious jeopardy.
- You’ve Got Mail: We learn over the past year Ray has been receiving suspicious envelopes in the mail. When the department receives a ransom demand in one of the packages, Ray is called back in to assist. Some nut job has strapped a bomb to a 7 year old boy and is demanding a hefty ransom. If the ransom is not paid he will kill the boy. The bomber asks specifically for Ray Thompson to be the man to deliver the money. He selects a live WWE event as the drop off point, he even leaves a ticket for Ray at the will call window. Ray drops off the money as instructed, but things don’t go exactly as planned… Ray ends up confronting the bomber, who we later learn is named Vladimir Pavel, and before Pavel could detonate the bomb with his cell phone, Ray shoots him in the head. The good news, the bomb was not detonated, the bad news Pavel was the only one who knew where the boy was.
- Race Against Time: Did I mention that there is a timer on the bomb? Or did you figure that out due to the title of the movie? Well there is and after the whereabouts of the boy and the bomb die with Pavel, there is only 6 hours and 42 minutes for Ray to find the boy until the bomb explodes. To further complicate matters Ray has to deal with two guys he pissed off at the beginning of the movie. First there is Kendricks, who thinks Ray is in on the ransom demand due to a personal grudge he has against the department. Then there is Nikolai, who for whatever reason is not in jail after getting busted at the start of the film… not sure if this was explained and I missed it or we are to assume he has a really awesome lawyer. If you are ever having a bad day at your job, just think about how lousy Ray Thompson’s day is going in this movie.
It was evident through out the movie that Dolph Ziggler was putting in the effort to make his first acting gig a successful one. The Thompson character is haunted by the death of his young son Mikey and in the scenes where Thompson is reliving this fans of Dolph Ziggler get to see something out of a Dolph performance they wouldn’t normally see on a Monday night. And while Dolph does have the opportunity to do a little bit of dramatic acting, this is an action movie and Dolph has plenty of opportunity to show off his physical skills.
I will say this, after watching Countdown, Dolph Lundgren may not be the only Dolph in action town anymore. Ziggler has the tools to be an action star and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the multi-talented Ziggler’s acting career continuing.
I also wouldn’t be surprised if you continued reading this review and checked out some bonus Countdown Bullet Points…
- Superstars of Wrestling: The scene at the live WWE event allows for several cameos from some of Dolph’s fellow WWE Superstars including Rusev and Lana, Roman Reigns, The New Day and three men who are no strangers to Bulletproof Action readers, Dean Ambrose (12 Rounds 3: Lockdown), Randy Orton (The Condemned 2) and The Big Show (Vendetta).
- Reunited: Katherine Isabelle and Glenn Jacobs worked together before in another WWE Studios release, See No Evil 2.
- The Name Game: IMDb lists Ziggler’s character name as Ray Fitzpatrick. This was also the character name used in the press release announcing the film last year. I guess somewhere along the line they realized Ziggler didn’t look like a Fitzpatrick.
- Move of the Night: Ray Thompson superkicking a gun wielding Rusev.
- Directed By: John Stockwell directed Countdown. Stockwell (who I will always associate with the movie Christine) starred along side Bulletproof Action favorite Michael Dudikoff in the Albert Pyun film, Radioactive Dreams. He also played Cougar in Top Gun. Stockwell is also the director of one of my most anticipated movies of 2016, Kickboxer: Vengeance.
- If You Ever: …wanted to see a man use a window washer as a means of escape, then this is the movie for you!