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'12 Rounds 3: Lockdown': Without John Cena, sequel lacks firepower

'12 Rounds 3: Lockdown': Without John Cena, sequel lacks firepower
Shaw (Dean Ambrose) and Burke (Roger Cross) star in "12 Rounds 3: Lockdown." (Lionsgate)

Professional wrestler Dean Ambrose stars in "12 Rounds 3: Lockdown," the second cheapquel to Renny Harlin's 2009 John Cena vehicle from WWE Studios.

Ambrose stars as Shaw, a police detective who rejoins the ranks after a break for psychiatric treatment following a rookie cop's death, for which everyone holds Shaw responsible. He comes across evidence implicating his former partner, Burke (Roger Cross), in supplying and then murdering drug dealer George Freemont (Matthew Harrison).

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As Shaw makes his way to see Capt. Matthews (Rebecca Marshall), Burke's cohort pulls the fire alarm and puts the headquarters on lockdown in a bid to kill off Shaw.

Written by Bobby Lee Darby and Nathan Brookes, the new film is a sequel to "12 Rounds" in name only. Though not as thrilling as the original, this third installment is an improvement over the paint-by-number 2013 direct-to-video "12 Rounds 2: Reloaded."

The original also had Cena, who recently confirmed his gifts by stealing scenes from Amy Schumer in "Trainwreck." This film has Ambrose, who though better than Randy Orton in "12 Rounds 2," still proves no match for Cena.

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"12 Rounds 3: Lockdown"

MPAA rating: R for violence, a scene of sexuality/nudity

Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Playing: AMC Universal CityWalk Stadium 19; also on VOD

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