WWE Wrestler Randy Orton portrays Nick Malloy, an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) who finds himself caught in a deadly 12-round game of cat and mouse with a vigilante tied to the ... See full summary »
Uniformed New Orleans PD officer Danny Fisher earns his promotion to detective to his near-rather lucky, albeit brave, arrest of ruthless terrorist arms-dealer Miles Jackson, whose girlfriend Erica Kessen got accidentally killed during the dirty FBI-operation. Exactly a year later, Miles has escaped and blows up Danny's house as foretaste of a Herculean race to accomplish twelve near-impossible tasks against the clock, otherwise his kidnapped girlfriend Molly will be killed. Yet at the end, another master-plan is suspected.Written by
Is it possible for a film to have too much action? Not when there are constant bouts of well-choreographed destruction or martial arts mayhem. But when it comes to mundane, familiar action scenes that have been played out on our screens decades then the answer is yes – and that's the problem with 12 ROUNDS. It has the makings of a decent action flick, but when it comes down to it, 12 ROUNDS is an all-too-familiar exercise in cinematic familiarity.
This film's a perfect example of overkill – it kicks off with an explosive car chase and has absolutely nowhere to go from that point in. The scrawny screenplay sees man-mountain John Cena (a wrestler-turned-actor whose appalling acting was previously showcased in THE MARINE) sweat and grunt his way around the streets of New Orleans, at the beck and call of a terrorist with a grudge. If this all sounds very familiar stuff indeed, it's because the storyline is a direct rip-off of DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE, borrowing so many elements from that movie that I'm surprised a lawsuit for plagiarism wasn't filed. And it's not half as good.
Director Renny Harlin, who once showed promise with DIE HARD 2 and CLIFFHANGER, continues his journey as a journeyman without an ounce of style (this one's only marginally better than THE COVENANT). Instead of bringing his own method to the table, Harlin is content to copy the style of the Bourne flicks, with mucho camera shakery to render the on-screen antics incomprehensible. Not that we're missing much. As Cena blows up half the city in pursuit of his kidnapped girlfriend (and she's not somebody you'd bother getting out of bed to make a cup of tea for, let's be honest), there are the usual concessions to the PG-13 market and scenes oddly familiar from other movies (the bit where they transfer the action from SPEED onto a tram is particularly pathetic). Add in a bad guy who's more of an irritant than a genuine threat, and you have a sub-par movie in every respect.
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