First off, I must admit, despite being a massive WWE fan, I haven't seen that many WWE films. But I thought the trailer of 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown did a good job at telling the story, without spoiling anything. You should know that even thugh this film is the third in the 12 Rounds saga, it is not a direct sequel and stands alone from the other two. The story is actually completely different than the other two stories as well.
Another thing worth noting is that even though WWE have gone PG in today's era, this movie is not PG. In fact, films produced by WWE Studios are one of the only adult things about WWE these days. The movie is rated 'R'. So I'm going to try and avoid spoilers for the majority of this review. However, it may reveal minor details, such as the premise (if you haven't already seen the trailer).
The film focuses on WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose's character of Detective John Shaw, who has just returned after a leave of absence and a psych evaluation. Without giving too much away, the writers really did a great job of setting up the storyline because we really didn't know what had happened at the start and then the information was peppered throughout the opening and middle acts of the film. He then finds evidence that reveals that his former partner and adored cop Detective Burke (played by Roger Cross - who I recognised as Lance's former partern in Arrow) was involved in a crime. Before Shaw can deliver this to the captain, Burke inititiates the lockdown protocol with the intention of killing Shaw. This gave Ambrose a great chance to deliver a troubled role with some depth, all the while trying to be an action hero at the same time. A far cry from his Lunatic Fringe persona straight out the Ambrose Asylum in the WWE ring. Some people tend to give wrestlers a hard time when they turn to acting but I really feel that Dean Ambrose did a great job. It allowed him to exercise his acting skills and we also got to see some cool fight scenes in the end.
My one criticism of the film is certain character deaths. Obviously in a film with multiple gunmen, there are going to be casulaties. However, there are certain ones (you'll know when watching) that I don't really feel added to the story. One of them was done to add to Shaw's emotional arc, but trying to get out of your own precinct when the building is in lockdown with about ten bad cops after you was already a powerful driving force. It fell kind of flat.
There is somewhat of a twist in the final act of the film that I also think fell a little flat, because before we even got to process or analyze what was happening, the twist was taken from us almost immediately.
Having said that, the film was a great adrenaline fueled story of a man's attempt to survive on the inside while his name is being blackened on the outside. There are some great action sequences and great dialogue all capped off by a thrilling and very believable performance by Dean Ambrose. The Lunatic Fringe makes a compelling Leading Man!
Very thrilling film and WWE Studios deserves a lot of credit for this one. Very enjoyable!
Check out the trailer below: