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Review: 12 Rounds

Posted on July 1, 2009 by

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On DVD this week is the latest actioner from John Cena, who exploded into movies with the ridiculously awesome “The Marine”.  Unfortunately his latest effort is a perfect example of generic.

Cena plays Danny Fisher, a police officer in New Orleans who manages to catch international jewel thief Miles Jackson.  During the arrest however Jackson’s girlfriend tries to escape and is hit by a car and killed.  A year later Jackson escapes from prison and kidnaps Danny’s wife.  He then challenges Danny to a series of 12 challenges and if Danny wins he’ll let his wife go.

This sort of thing has been done much better in movies such as Die Hard with a Vengeance, which is interesting since the director of 12 Rounds, Renny Harlin, directed Die Hard 2.  There aren’t really any unique action sequences.  For instance, Danny has to escape from an elevator before a bomb blows the cables but that was done better in Speed.  The challenges aren’t that creative either, instead of clever riddles and mind games a la Simon Gruber, Jackson just kind of tells Danny to go to places.  The acting is servicable, Cena gives a pretty typical action hero performance, grimacing and telling people he has to save his wife.  Aidan Gillen isn’t very menacing as the villain, he’s not so much a master criminal than a douchebag.

The movie isn’t offensively bad but it definitely falls into the wide category of mediocre action movies.  Cena seems like he could be a pretty good action star, he’s not as good as The Rock but he certainly isn’t as bad as Stone Cold Steve Austin or Kane.  Might be worth a rent if you’re looking for an action fix.

2 out of 5

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