Great acting. Just kidding.
5 minutes into Countdown I legitimately didn’t know what I was doing with my Tuesday night. There’s Stardom to watch, there’s Puebla to take in, there’s a little bit of Viva La Raza to look back on. But no. I watched Dolph Ziggler act (something he can’t do in a wrestling ring for one), as the lead character ‘Ray’ in this WWE Studios iteration. I finished the movie and I am speechless. The last shot sees Dolph Ziggler walk away in slow motion after saving a child who had a bomb strapped to him the entire movie. For some reason, this involved a WWE event. For an hour and a half movie, we got about 15 minutes of WWE stuff. The rest was cheesy, boring, awfully heelish (much like his wrestling character) BABYFACE Ziggler get shot down by his Police Department, commit murders and injuries, run through everyone in squash confrontations, and somehow save the child with seconds ticking down. Yes, it was that cliche. Worst script ever.
What I really want to delve into, is the fact that, once again, in a movie, Vancouver does not play itself. Watch this video for further explanation. It’s Seattle, which is fine for all of you that don’t live around the British Columbia/Canada areas of the world. When you do, it’s incredibly awkward to see switches between different arenas with the narrative being they are one in the same. The same goes for realism. This movie screams “IT’S FAKE”, much like Ziggler’s flip-flop selling that is 100% less authentic than Curt Hennig’s.
The WWE side of things sees Ziggler enter the very same arena I was at in August, taped then as well, picking up a bag of some kind. There’s this tracking gimmick, and Kane is overseeing Ziggler a lot in the movie; as Kane wasn’t bad in the role — just a generic overwatch cop guy that gets low-blowed anyways near the end of the movie, so who cares. He was good for some reaction pictures and that’s about it. They showed clips of the house show I was at, with Ziggler paying for a ticket at the Rogers Arena ticket booth, than somehow entering Pacific Coliseum as if it was the same thing. He walked down the aisle, through the crowd, and no joke, right in front of where I was sitting at the time to grab the bag. I wasn’t shown, but, you can see my fan-cam of this filming happening as it did, right here.
Ziggler managed to superkick Rusev, and for some reason he ran through backstage, which was ironic, as a non-wrestler; getting stopped by cameos, including being put over by Lana for being a real man. This is all so weird and real for the time, because Ziggler and Rusev were in a feud, in which Lana and Ziggler were a pairing. This all culminated when he found the Russian guy and sniped him down, literally killing him with a pistol. The big, totally original problem was that the dead guy was the orchestrator of said bomb to child’s chest, so he was the only one that knew where he was. The rest of the movie saw his path (obviously) paved in many different ways, resulting in him saving the kid in the most anti-climatic ways possible, much like his punchlines.
Ziggler’s acting, and especially the script choice go hand in hand as being prominently featured in cringe worthy moments isn’t a coincidence for Ray. For example, there is a countdown for a bomb strapped to a kid and Ziggler is just slouching around like he’s trying to figure out the password for his iCloud. Buddy, you’re supposed to get this password right in order to save a kid’s life, not your fan-girl Tinder swipes that may expire soon. This all is happening in a control room when the kid was first shown on screen and he had to guess a password. Already a boring tone to set.
Before the WWE event stuff, it was hard to sit through, after such, it was even harder to sit through. Things like Ziggler holding up a tattoo shop just to get identification on a tattoo is so ridiculous, and puts him on screen like such a villain dick. Also what totally made sense was the fact that his co-officer (keep in mind Ziggler has been on suspension this entire time, only to get called back for no reason) runs through random people in the street only to SOMEHOW MAGICALLY come across strangers on the street that know the dad of the boy who’s been kidnapped by the generic-as-all-hell Russian mafia.
This all led to many different breakthroughs I don’t care to cover, much like the rest of the story. A little girl was a magical Russian-to-English translator for the co-detective and it was a break through. This is where the best acting in the movie came into play. The tenant of the building is the lay of the land, and digs into Julia. The two had an epic standoff with BELIEVABLE tones and back and forth. This led to it being revealed that the criminal has a room upstairs. Not too cliche, but the rest of the movie is a catastrophe like Ziggler’s comedy, as the movie made me laugh harder from this point on than any of his jokes ever have.
This set up the “epic” finale with Ziggler surviving “Director of Police Operations” Kane yet again in life, by low-blowing him and even though getting shot multiple times, diving onto a window washers’ cart which sent him down to ground level. He escaped with Julia and both made their way to the climax of the film, which included a car chase, them locating the boy, Ziggler grabbing him, bringing a SUICIDE BOMB CHILD into a building only to clear it out, and give the fuse trigger nitrogen freezing. They escaped together just in time and the bomb set off. Then we got the aforementioned shot of Ziggler leaving in slow motion, like a cool cat! Nope, it was God awful and nonsensical, an abrupt ending to a horrendous plot-driven generic representation of action in a film, with a generic lead, an OK co-lead in Julia, Kane bantering the whole way through, hollow Russian mafia members, WWE cameos for short periods of time, and a child who was the center piece, who was strapped to a bomb and shown for short periods of time, only to be shown for 5 minutes for the first time at the end after being saved by babyface yet oh so heelish Ziggler.
I have made questionable decisions in my life. Buying access to Countdown for $6 is about $30 more than what its worth. You’d have to pay me to ever watch this again. The highlights of the movie were all WWE live event stuff, as seeing what was filmed come to live was exciting, including HD footage of the house show I was at! New Day with 15 seconds of screen-time entering down the ramp made more sense to be included in the cinematography than anything Ziggler’s character ever did. Ray was a God awful name, Countdown sucked, WWE Studios has an obsession with tick-tock clocks, and Big Show broke an aerobics tool in a montage. Seth Rollins was just announced for a WWE Studios production, “Temple,” and it’s already better than this shite. May this movie live forever in Wal-Mart baskets across the nation. The hits just keep on coming.