By Carley Dangona
This week's reviews are full of campiness, action and bad acting.
12 Rounds 2: Reloaded
Despite being a fan of professional wrestling, I am always leery of wrestlers trying their hand at acting. With the exception of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, wrestlers seem to lack the necessary chops to make the transition from two-minute match promos to full-length feature films. "Mr. Nanny" anyone?
The plot is that of a maniacal madman, played by Brian Markinson, bent on seeking justice for his wife who was killed by a drunk driver.
Randy Orton plays Nick Malloy, an EMT who attends to the accident, saving the man and the driver, but failing to save the wife. A year later, Malloy is forced to assist the madman in righting the wrongs of a failed justice system.
This is WWE superstar Randy Orton's first leading role and clearly hiring John Cena's acting coach the star of "12 Rounds" was a bad idea. Orton is known for his natural athleticism and it is his only redeeming feature in the movie. His line delivery is painful to watch, much like his in-ring mic skills. Orton's use of facial expressions clearly benefited from coaching, as they seemed sincere. At best, he would make a talented stuntman.
The movie is full of explosions, car chases and cuss words, but failed to capture this B-movie lover's appreciation. To be fair, Orton did the best he could the plot had too many holes and the characters were underdeveloped. The plot alludes to Malloy's troubled past, but never goes into detail to explain. Perhaps that background would've made his carjacking skills more realistic.
Admittedly, I would've never bothered with the flick if Orton's name wasn't on it. There's no denying the man's athletic ability.
The Black Kung Fu Experience
This film is an hour-long documentary about the black pioneers in the world of Kung Fu. The movie focuses on athletic legends such as Ron Van Clief, Dennis Brown, Tayari Casel and Don Hamby.
While I have seen many of the Kung Fu movies of today, I had not seen those of the aforementioned men, mostly because they came out before my time, but also because I had no idea of their role in the martial arts industry.
The documentary goes beyond describing each man's contribution to martial arts filmmaking. It delves into who each is as a person, both then, when they were drawn into the world of Kung Fu and now, how they are after a lifelong dedication to the art.
The documentary demonstrates each man's personal fighting style that was seemingly determined by his approach to life and the life circumstances faced prior to committing to the practice.
The special features section was a definite bonus. Multiple clips are featured with each man demonstrating his skill in Kung Fu. It was very cool to see them in action.
For me, Bruce Lee will always be my favorite action legend, but the martial artists in this documentary are cut from the same cloth and deserve to be recognized.