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What do you get if you cross Saw, Die Hard With A Vengenance and a vechile for WWE Superstar John Cena? The answer is 12 Rounds, a high octane, action packed thriller that delivers pure popcorn munching entertainment!
When local beat cop Danny Fisher (Cena) captures one of the worlds most wanted criminals, Miles Jackson (Aidan Gillen), in an on foot car chase which sees Miles’ main squeeze get accidentally run over by a truck in the process, we have the set up for the film. One year later and Miles has escaped prison and is plotting his revenge against Danny by kidnapping the one thing he holds most dear, his girlfriend Molly (Ashley Scott). The only way Danny can get her back is by playing a game of 12 Rounds with Miles which sees him speeding around the city to stop bombs exploding.
There isn’t much in the way of subplot to chew on, Danny’s relationship with his partner and the FBI aren’t really explored outside the extremes “I HATE YOU! I LOVE YOU!”, but they don’t really detract from the rest of the film. The title gives away the fact there are twelve games for Danny to solve, quite an amount, yet they are squeezed all in without the plot getting over saturated with the same thing.
Many other critics instantly would have turned off to this movie as it featured a WWE wrestler in John Cena. During the time of production, Cena was still seen as a ‘green’ wrestler (inexperienced) so translating that across to the big screen could have been a challenge. Whilst his movie career hasn’t skyrocketed like his former colleague Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, it is very easy to watch this film and see John Cena as an actor, not a wrestler.
Despite not having a marquee name over the title – you can’t argue Cena is – ’12 Rounds’ could really stand up for itself with the big boys, like Die Hard. Whilst the supporting cast all play the stereotypical sidekick roles, they’re not the centric pivot of the film. The action is continuous and although at times ridiculous, it’s all good fun.
’12 Rounds’ probably didn’t get the biggest release and it’s target audience may have been limited to those who follow the WWE on a weekly basis, but that is a great shame. The film delivers the big explosions, the dramatic chase and whilst not full of memorable dialogue or throwaway one-liners, it is a worthy film. If it does bring anything (other than Cena) from the WWE, it’d be the ‘E’, the film is entertainment and that’s all that matters.