Director: Renny Harlin
Cast: John Cena, Steve Harris, Ashley Scott, Aidan Gillen, Brian White
RunTime: 1 hr 48 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Rating: PG (Violence)
Official Website: http://www.foxinternational.com/12rounds
Opening Day: 26 March 2009
champion John Cena is New Orleans Police Detective Danny Baxter.
When Baxter stops a brilliant thief from getting away with
a multi-million-dollar heist, the thief’s girlfriend
is accidentally killed. After escaping from prison,
the criminal mastermind enacts his revenge, taunting the cop
with a series of near-impossible puzzles and tasks …12
rounds…that Baxter must somehow complete to save the
life of his own fiancée.
With all it’s theatric drama and action going on in
the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), it doesn’t
take a genius to figure that branching out into the movie
arena would be one of the most profitable options for them.
In it’s stable, there are already storyline scriptwriters
who had been churning out dramas that kept fans hooked and
popular muscular wrestlers with their respective fan base
which promise more profit.
Rounds marks the fourth theatrical movie outing under the
banner of WWE Studio and like all the previous WWE movies
such as See No Evil, The Marine and The Condemned, this movie
is basically a B grade movie with a couple redeeming factors.
of all, John Cena lacks Dwayne Johnson (The Rock)’s
screen presence caliber. John Cena’s square-ish facial
features and wooden expression does very little to captivate
audience into feeling for his character. There are some guys
that look good in front of the camera and there are some that
don’t. The problem is that John Cena has a very good
look for an average American but lacks that something special
for a lead role (which Dwayne Johnson is able to deliver).
His range of expression felt rather limited and it was so
much more interesting to watch the performance of his side
kick cop Det. Hank Carver (Brian J. White) and his arch enemy
Miles Jackson (Aidan Gillen) in 12 Rounds.
comes the plot/subplots and it’s various plot holes.
The extortion acts on a hero which forces him into doing various
difficult acts in a city setting had been done before and
if one need a film to refer to, it would be Die Hard with
a Vengeance (that Die Hard film which was not directed by
then even a stale o’recycled plot could be fun as the
director Renny Harlin managed to kept things going in 12 Rounds,
delivering a kinetic action movie experience that was entertaining
to follow. (One thing to note, it was so kinetic that every
scene contains movement and felt like the filmmakers was throwing
every known cinematographic ticks into this movie that it
became unsettling after the halfway mark) Even the plot holes
that usually irked serious viewers were a whole lot of fun.
Fun as in there are plenty of events in this movie that deserve
to be included in the "100 things I learned from 12 Rounds"
case you are unaware of this term, "100 things I learn
from <insert movie title>" actually points out
the absurd and silly things that the characters did in a movie
and it’s a lot of fun to spot. Such as a Police detective
could frontline a Fire fighter’s operation just because
he got a relative in the Fire department. There are plenty
of such silly moments in 12 Rounds but it’s kept one
awake and amused at the far fetch things that occurs for the
convenient of the plot’s progression.
is no qualms that 12 Pounds is a B grade movie that’s
having a theatrical release but it’s a fun B grade movie
(whether it’s intentional or not) to watch. This film
project also felt like it’s an aid for New Orleans (which
had been badly battered by Hurricane Katrina), in particular
promoting it’s tourism and honoring the civil services
like the police force, the firemen and the medical services.
For a good cause, it just makes it even harder to put ones’
thumb down on 12 Rounds.
(So B grade that it’s entertaining to watch)
Review by Richard Lim Jr