Countdown – Review (* 1/2)

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Countdown D

Not merely content to be a WWE Studios offering starring WWE superstars, Countdown takes the self-promotion one step further with by far the most craven and absurd product placement yet attempted in one of these movies. Oh, and everything else is pretty bad, too.

Loose canon narcotics cop Ray Thompson (Dolph Ziggler) finds himself racing against the clock to save a young boy who has been kidnapped and strapped with an explosive vest for a $2 million ransom. Teaming up with Lieutenant Julia Baker (Katharine Isabelle), Ray must rally against his stodgy superiors and employ unconventional methods to bring the situation safely to a close.

First things first, Dolph Zigger is an easy sell here; he’s a handsome, charismatic guy who carries himself well in the WWE ring and similarly here on-screen…so it’s a shame he’s left saddled with an eye-rollingly generic thriller premise that’s written and directed with utter indifference for the most part.

Things occasionally reach insulting levels, though, such as during an extended subplot which sees Ray, funnily enough, heading to a WWE live show to track down a lead. It reeks of both laziness and an icky desire to slap the WWE brand everywhere possible, in essence proving how little the plot, characters and actions here really matter at all. You’ll laugh at Ziggler having a backstage brawl with Rusev, but you’ll also be shaking your head in disbelief at the same time.

Meanwhile, scream queen Isabelle is solid as his support despite the role being relatively bland, and similarly, Kane is surprisingly fine as Ray’s stubborn desk jockey superior. Why they chose the Big Red Demon for such a non-role, though, is anyone’s guess.

Visually and narratively, this one’s dead on arrival; pretty much the only thing you’re likely to remember is the absurd arena sequence, because it takes the navel-gazing and cash-grabbing to levels more perverse than just about anyone probably expected.

* 1/2

Countdown is available now on home video

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