‘Countdown’ Review: Tapping Out

Posted in The Screening Room by - April 29, 2016

Things did not look good going into our WWE-crossover month. The list of movies appeared bland, at best, and there were some terrible standout ones among everyone’s choice of reviews. Personally, I had two action-comedies, a stock slasher, and a “pet plays sports” kid’s movie – not exactly the cream of the crop. What, exactly, my final review would end up being was questionable at best before sitting down to it, but I didn’t get my hopes up for anything better than what I’d seen. Heck, Countdown just released this year, and I hadn’t even heard of it!

But then I found the time to watch the movie for myself. And, oh boy, did it not disappoint.

By which, of course, I mean it was exactly what I expected, and nothing more.

The blandly-named Countdown stars Dolph Ziggler (I had to double-check that’s the stage name he chose – I swear, it sounds like a terrible 80s pornstar or something) as Ray Fitzpatrick, an edgy cop who gets results by not playing by the rules! But that’s bad news, man, and his lieutenant, Cronin (Kane, who we previously experienced in See No Evil), wants him off the force and evaluated by Julia Baker (Katharine Isabelle), the representative from a non-government organization who watches over bad cops. But suddenly a cryptic message comes in, directed to Ray, which reveals a Russian terrorist’s plot to extort money by tying a child to a bomb. There’s no time to waste on regulations and reviews, so Ray forces the point as he drags Julia along to solve the mystery and save the child.

And that’s not even half as dumb as this film gets, folks.

The terrorist, himself, is found in the catwalk at a WWE event, in a terrible extended scene that scraps together live footage, pieces filmed on-site, and visible bits set on a sound stage. This “reveals” that the kidnapper has some grudge against Ray, in particular, leading him to investigate the Russian consulate and a local bomb maker. Oh yes, you read that right. And don’t forget the last-minute double-cross, as the other cops bring Ray in under suspicions that he’s working with the terrorist kidnappers! Because planted evidence, and a history of hatred for other cops because of the loss of his son!

It’s all so trite and hastily constructed that it makes no sense. I complained that last week’s The Reunion had too many “because plot” moments, but, oh boy, does Countdown take the cake there. If the filming and editing weren’t so crappy, some of the stunts or fight scenes might be interesting, but they are truly forgettable. Add to that the complete lack of any real character arcs, likable performances, or any sense of narrative flow, and it’s a wonder anyone let this thing out.

Countdown is the definition of schlock, just forced out to make a quick buck with no attempt to even make a passable film. The effects are garbage (like, almost Birdemic-levels, at some points), the plot is nonsense, none of the characters are engaging, and they don’t even use the interaction with a legit WWE event to any meta-level commentary or comedy. It’d be wasted potential, but that would imply there was any place for Countdown to go but a dirt nap.

Final Verdict: Skip It

This post was written by
He is a Nebraska native and UNL Honors alum with an ever-relevant degree in English. When he isn’t working his day job or writing for Kulture Shocked, Ben spends his time as an independent game designer, seeking to publish his first board game. You can also find him modeling for art classes around Lincoln or online as Dlark17 on most major gaming platforms.
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