movie film review | chris tookey

12 Rounds

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  12 Rounds Review
Tookey's Rating
1 /10
Average Rating
3.50 /10
Danny Fisher - John Cena , Miles Jackson - Aidan Gillen
Full Cast >

Directed by: Renny Harlin
Written by: Daniel Kunka

Released: 2009
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 107

Action flicks don’t come barmier than this. A shameless rip-off of the third Die Hard film, in which Bruce Willis was a cop who had to chase round New York solving puzzles set by master-criminal Jeremy Irons, this has a Z-list movie star called John Cena (pictured) as a cop chasing round New Orleans solving puzzles set by cackling master-criminal Aiden Gillen.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Even the twist turns out to be the same, for which first-time screenwriter Daniel Kunka deserves to be locked up in a screenwriters’ longterm correctional facility.

The lack of new ideas might not matter if the puzzles themselves were fresh or entertaining, but they aren’t. And the arch criminal’s master-plan is so over-complicated, that it passes well beyond the unbelievable into the realm of the utterly pathetic. He and the equally preposterous villain of Angels & Demons would make a perfect comedy team.

Director Renny Harlin has made enjoyably daft action movies before, including Cliffhanger (1993), The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) and Deep Blue Sea (1999), all of which I would recommend as guilty pleasures, but here the frenetic Finn fails to set our pulses racing. Even his plummeting lift and runaway tram sequences are a bore.

There’s far too much time to yawn and ponder why on earth the authorities let our lumbering hero endanger scores of lives in defence of only one. This nutter’s a one-man Hurricane Katrina as he commandeers first a car and then a fire engine, causing millions of dollars of collateral damage.

It doesn’t help that Mr Cena is a bulked-up, charisma-free ex-wrestler whose only previous film was The Marine (2006), in which he had to rescue his kidnapped wife. Here, he has to rescue his kidnapped girlfriend. If ever he’s allowed to make a third movie, he’ll probably have to rescue his kidnapped gerbil.

It is all too evident that he finds acting a strain. His attempts to look anguished when his vapid girlfriend Molly (Ashley Scott) is threatened with death make Steven Seagal look like Daniel Day Lewis.
This movie was not shown to the American critics. Now you know why.

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