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12 Rounds 2 - Reloaded (2013)

12 Rounds 2 - Reloaded (2013)

Now before I start, let me just say that this entire review is going to be a major spoiler for not only this movie but of the previous as well, and I'm not going to be bothered with spoiler tags because there's more spoiler than not. I'll sum up the plot first, it's: a tale of a man bent on revenge, in the plot of which our main character paramedic gets involuntarily mixed in, along with his wife, and a plethora of other characters maybe undeserving their freedom and prosperity but definitely not deserving their seemingly imminent deaths. It's a thriller which embarks on a similar journey to that of the first, but with a much darker; more pointless air and atmosphere to it. If you liked the first, don't get your hopes too high for this! It isn't a bad movie in itself, but as with The Marine the sequel embarks on a new path, and I feel it doesn't really merit the same title. If you watch a sequel you want the trademark ingredients of the first to stay in place. Preferably the main character, hopefully also the mood; last but not least a similar scenario. This one goes borderline on only the very last of these, the concept of 12 rounds as something entirely different. Onto spoiler.

How is it that the darker a movie gets, the higher a rating it gets on IMDB? The first 12 Rounds movie took place in equal daylight and darkness, this one takes place entirely during the night (which also means there is much less to see - daylight has that advantage). The original featured a ruthless criminal, yet psychotic only on the surface, with a scheme revealed only at the end of the movie. In this one, the criminal is entirely psychotic, the crime is pointless and the scheme is revealed halfway through. In the original, there were a few needless sacrifices along the way; not everything went as the criminal planned. In this one, the sacrifices were about as unnecessary as they were unstoppable, and short of the end, everything went the criminal's way. The criminals die in both of these movies; the man and wife survive, but after so much blood lust and twisted justice, how can they still end the movie with their smiles playing on their faces, sitting on the back of an ambulance, and expect the viewer to smile with them as the credits begin to roll? In the last one the wife, Molly told Danny they were finally going back home, and Danny replies: Uh, Molly... about the house... to which the camera pans out and the music starts to play. Considering the house had been blown up in the initial stages of the movie, right after Molly had been kidnapped, this felt perfect, an end with style; plenty of smile.

I liked the first one, I liked the action; the charisma in the characters and that little twist that could classify it as a thriller. This movie was more like a thriller with a twist for horror, dark and dreary and desperate (but the timers still didn't feel like as much of a threat as in the last one), without John Cena as main character, with good actors but a moody canvas filled with chases and death, and none of the liveliness and strong emotional bonds that characterized the first. The first was loaded, this one's more like unloaded in comparison. It's not a bad movie per say, but my expectations were foiled. I wanted more action like the first, I wanted action! I wanted drama with plenty of tension but not necessarily this dramatical darkness! It's becoming a cliché in the movie world, or was for a while, and I don't like it. I'm probably giving this a worse score just cause it doesn't merit being a sequel. The expectations linked with everything from the number to the name (Reloaded) to the promise of a similar plot makes it fall harder than it needs to fall. Almost... gave it a 2.

 rated 3/5: not bad

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