Watching the movie gives no indication of the story being a sequel because it is so different from the previous 12 Rounds movies. The story has different characters and more action. The other movies follow a man forced to complete a series of tasks within a specific timeframe. Lockdown refers the limited amount of bullets the main character holds in his gun in order to achieve his task in nailing the bad guys.
Directed by Stephen Reynolds, the story follows John Shaw, played by Dean Ambrose, who is a cop. Shaw just returned from an extensive leave after undergoing a gunshot wound and the death of his rookie partner. Fellow officer Tyler Burke, played by Roger Cross, brings tension to the story because he is a dirty cop connected in a drug dealing venture. Rookie cop Jenny Taylor, played by Sarah Smyth, discovers evidence against Burke and tells Shaw. He investigates and confronts Burke and his team’s connection to drug dealing.
Burke needs to get rid of Shaw because he knows about his dirty dealings with drugs. So, him and his team evacuate and lockdown the entire police building. They are intent to hunt down Shaw and kill him. Shaw only has his revolver with one clip and 12 rounds, hence the movie’s title. That is not all. Shaw has more on his hands than just Burke and his gang chasing him down. He is being set up by Burke, who is making an effort to frame him. Burke is telling Captain Matthews, played by Rebecca Marshall, Shaw is responsible for the homicides during the lockdown. Officer Taylor is also locked in the building and doesn’t know who to believe or trust.
This sequel is comparable to the original Die Hard where there are many shootouts and fist fights. The movie uses the same old action style, and it is worth watching if you are a huge fan of Dean Ambrose.
Directed by Scott Mann, Heist follows Lucas Vaughn, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who works at the Swan Casino. The casino is owned by Mafia-Boss Francis ”Pope” Silva, played brilliantly by Robert De Niro. Luke’s young daughter is hospitalized, and is seriously ill in need of expensive treatment. The real problem lays in the fact that Luke did not keep up the Medical-Insurance payments. His daughter may not be cared for with the correct treatments if he doesn’t pay the medical costs. Luke asks his old friend and employer if he could help him out with a loan. The employer says “No Favors.”
Along comes fellow employee Cox, played by Dave Bautista, who plans to rob his employer and wants the knowledge Luke has to help pull off the heist. Cox knows Luke has worked there for many years and has the knowledge he needs. Helping Cox is the only way Luke can pay the medical costs, so he agrees to be a part of the heist to save his daughter’s life. He has his own ideas on how the heist should go, and the plan seems to work until security is alerted.
Gunfire ensues as they make a getaway in a bus with hostages. Now, they are pursued by the police. With Cox crazed and ready to kill a victim to getaway, Luke tries to keep things under control. The bus is being chased by both Pope’s bodyguards and the police. Pope is interested in getting the money back before the police make an arrest because the money belongs to the mob, which the casino laundered.
Luke strikes up a rapport with one of the police officers named Kris, played by MMA’s fame Gina Carano. She soon understands Luke is the link to freeing the passengers on the bus without harm.
The whole situation gets very intense before it comes to an end. The movie is well worth the watch because the story is really good, and the acting matches the spirit of the movie. I recommend you catch it on demand or rent it.
Directed by twins Jen and Sylvia Soska, Vendetta is a movie shot predominately in a prison, which keeps the production cost down. Produced by the WWE and starring wrestler Paul “The Big Show” Wight as a massive villain. Vendetta is billed as an action movie, and the male dominated tone surprises me that two women directed this WWE brand of entertainment.
The movie stars Dean Cain as Mason, a strong, crusty detective who we meet in the opening scene. He apprehends Victor, played by Wight, but is released on a technicality. Victor is out for revenge and arrives at Mason’s home and beats his wife, played by Kyra Zagorsky, to death and gets caught.
Mason snaps and embarks on a vendetta against the man who shattered his life. He kills Victor’s brother, played by Aleks Paunovic, and is thrown in the same prison where Victor is serving his time.
Victor holds quite a bit of power in the prison and calls the shots. Getting involved in one violent altercation after another, now a former cop, Mason meets the prison’s sleazy warden, played entertainingly by Michael Eklund. He called him into his office after one of his attackers is placed in the hospital by Mason.
The warden scolds Mason and decides his pal Victor can eliminate Mason for him. Mason asks his former partner in the police force, played by Ben Hollingsworth, to help him nail the corrupted warden and his cohorts.
How the story unfolds from here is endless fight scenes showing off Cain’s muscle toned body. Cain is good and delivers a physical performance worth watching. Wight’s massive body regales convincingly as he struts like a professional wrestler when he choke holds opponent after opponent.
The story builds to a prison riot as part of the ending of the movie.
Skin Trade is one of those direct to DVD movies that ends up being a really good movie, and probably would have done well in the theaters. Directed by Ekachai Uekrongtham, the story is about the buying and selling of human beings, particularly women, and two detectives from different countries trying to put an end to the human trafficking ring. One cop is from Thailand. Detective Tony Vitayakul, played by dynamic martial arts champion Tony Jaa. The other cop is from NYC. Detective Nick Cassidy, played by Dolph Lundgren. Turns out they are both after the same crime lord from Serbia. Viktor, played by Ron Perlman, runs the trafficking underworld while getting his family involved at different locations around the world.
Detective Cassidy tracks down Viktor and his youngest son. They have a shootout, and Viktor’s son is killed, but Viktor escapes. The crime lord backlashes at Cassidy by having his men kill his wife, wound him and kidnap his daughter.
Cassidy decides to go after Viktor on his own because he doesn’t trust FBI Agent Reed, played Michael Jai White. He lands in Thailand. Reed alerts Detective Vitayakul that he is in his country. Both the FBI and Vitayakul go after Cassidy, and he escapes barely as Vitayakul chases after Cassidy. Here we get to see Jaa and Lundgren at their most impressive martial arts skills. What a chase this scene offers with speeds through the streets and alleys of Thailand. It ends with an awesome all-out exchange of blows between the two. Stuff like this makes the movie impressive.
Tony and Cassidy figure out the traitor, come to terms and work together to take down Viktor, including the human trafficking ring. More hand-to-hand combat occurs, keeping the movie all action. At the same time, the story shines through and is better than most movies of this genre. The acting is good. All in all, the movie is worth watching.
If you like John Woo’s classics, you will enjoy this action-filled, police tale. It’s the story of three police officers with striking personalities. One of the officers is undercover while the others are on the force. They make great efforts to bring down a major Asian drug lord. The movie is driven by its story with deceptions and betrayal, suspense and some major action.
Directed by Benny Chan, The White Storm is textured with personalities that have to prove they are righteous, which is similar to movies from the 80s – like Tango & Cash or Lethal Weapon. The cops are in conflict over their personalities and how they handle the job. Like one bad cop and one good cop solving a crime together while competing against each other.
The story begins with a brotherhood put to the ultimate test when a narcotics sting operation fails. Three friends will fight to the end to escape the retaliation of the most dangerous drug lord in Hong Kong. They are working in the Hong Kong Police Department’s Narcotics Bureau and get caught up in a case with the drug lord. Their sting operation fails, and they are forced to make a devastating decision – two can live but one must die.
Five years later, the two of them declare revenge for their fallen friend. But, conflict arises and they wind up competing against each other for their own lives. At this point, the story gets real interesting, and I could not take my attention off the movie.
Chan is an award-winning producer and director for the film New Police Story starring Jackie Chan. He brings action-pack entertainment with a cutting edge of storytelling.