"If nothing else one has to give credit to the WWE for attempting to spread out further than the squared circle. While their attempt at a new football franchise failed, their diving into the world of film has done well for them. Some movies hit highs and some drop to lows but they're almost always entertaining. They also provide a jumping board for the careers of their wrestlers. Such is the case with John Cena.
Cena has starred in one film already, the well received THE MARINE. An action film seemed a natural leap for him and he did a fine job handling acting and action chores both with ease. The next step was finding a follow up vehicle and that came about with the new release 12 ROUNDS.
Cena stars as New Orleans policeman Danny Fisher who winds up by circumstance in the middle of an FBI hunt to track down a terrorist named Miles Jackson (Aidan Gillen). A chase follows and after he stops the terrorist, Jackson tells his girlfriend to run before he takes the time to notice an oncoming truck in her path. Blaming Fisher for her death, he swears they'll meet again.
Fast forward one year later and Danny is now a detective. He heads to work only to get a phone call. It's Jackson and he informs Danny that he's taken Danny's girlfriend Molly (Ashley Scott) hostage. Just to let him know he's serious, Jackson blows up Danny and Molly's house while Danny watches. He then tells him they're going to play a game with the life of Molly hanging in the balance. All Danny has to do is win the majority of the 12 rounds Jackson has planned for him.
Danny contacts his partner on the force for assistance and then heads out to take on the first round. Each one sets him up for a life or death situation for either himself or some innocent person who finds themselves involved in helping him. While he rejoices at the wins, he begins to feel guilty over the losses as they involve the death or injury of someone else.
Along the way the FBI become involved since they've been watching all along. Of course Danny's not to keen to work with them since they failed to notify him earlier of the prison break involving Jackson. Unlikely allies begin to work together to try and take down this mad man while saving Molly at the same time.
Steve Harris stars as Special Agent George Aiken, the main agent in charge of catching Jackson from the start. His concerns focus more on the recapture than on saving Molly. Of course this results in head to head conflict with Danny and his goal of saving the woman he loves. Agent Aiken has a personal reason for wanting Jackson caught as well but eventually realizes he may have put his personal interests above the life of this woman.
The clock is ticking and with only so many hours allotted for Danny to complete all of his tasks, he struggles to find a way to beat Jackson at his own game. Beaten down, battered along the way, the final showdown approaches. Only then will we discover who wins and who loses the game of 12 rounds.
Cena does a fine job here with only one problem. He's never given much chance to act. Perhaps that's the intention, giving him just enough moments to convince people of his sincerity but for the most part just jumping, running and fighting to reach the films conclusion. Cena can do a decent job of acting but unless he's given the opportunity, his chances of a long term career in film dwindles.
While the film does offer the requisite amount of action with minimal amount of plot, the twists and turns Jackson puts Danny through are original for the most part. But as I was watching this film I kept thinking I'd seen it before. It was only after I was reminded by a friend that I put it all together and realized that Bruce Willis was pretty much put through the paces of games that kept him running in DIE HARD 3. While this film is not an exact copy, the overall feeling creeps in at times.
That being said, it remains a fine piece of entertainment. The production values are well done and all the money spent to make the picture shows on the screen. Rarely has New Orleans looked this good and with the bad press of Katrina, it's nice to see the locale used once again.
All in all you won't do wrong by renting this film to watch. And for Cena fans, you'll want to add it to your collection. But let's hope that he gets the chance to stretch himself a little further in his next film. Only then can he hope to achieve greater stardom rather than find himself in the straight to DVD category. "
B. E Jackson | Pennsylvania | 01/31/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The last time I watched a WWE movie starring John Cena... let's just say, I love my action hot and heavy and ended up VERY satisfied, haha.
So it's absolutely NO surprise to me that 12 Rounds is a classic.
So many things to admire about a movie like this... of course you can't take the good without the bad. The first 15 minutes were some of the most predictable and generic cheesiness I have ever seen in my life.
I was almost ready to turn the movie off after those horrible 15 minutes, but then... John Cena began the chase, and when the storyline finally kicked in, this movie completely blew me away.
Everything from car crashes to explosions to shootings... 12 Rounds does it all.
I can't imagine how difficult it was to film something like this. I can't imagine how much money it cost to waste all those vehicles! Actually the same thought comes to mind with ANY action movie. It must cost a fortune.
John Cena proves why he was chosen for this role- his acting skills are almost as good as his performance in the ring. He truly has a career as a movie star when his wrestling career is over.
The storyline is about John Cena's character accidentally killing a woman. To make a long story short, he goes to arrest a bad man, the wife/girlfriend of this man happens to be hit by a car right in front of them, so the guy takes it personally and, one year later when he mysteriously gets out of jail, he decides to take his revenge against Cena.
His revenge happens to be a carefully orchestrated and elaborate set of rounds that Cena MUST follow, or else his wife dies.
This movie is highly recommended for those who love movies such as Speed. GREAT edge of your seat action."
12 Rounds directed by Renny Harlin, the same guy who directed Die Hard 2, is the story of how Detective Danny Fisher inadvertently set events into motion that resulted in the death of a criminal, Miles Jackson's girlfriend and the game of revenge Jackson enacts on him a year later by kidnapping Fisher's girlfriend, Molly. Fisher has to complete impossible action & explosion filled missions in a series of "rounds" to win his woman back.
This movie had a few good ideas in its conception, after all, it sounds like Die Hard 3, right? We all remember the story of the bad guy asking Bruce Willis to complete all these riddles and tasks by certain time frames running all over town as a diversion for him stealing a bunch of money, right? Complete with a team of people willing to help you and a team of people willing to feed the action hero to the wolves? Well, this movie is the same thing, but without the jokes or fun. Don't get me wrong, destruction in an action movie is always fun, but without some smart quip at the end of it, I felt like something was missing. For one, it takes the characters until almost the end of the movie to put two and two together about Davis's real objective. It takes itself far too seriously!
John Cena as Detective Fisher has the physical role down with appearance and looks fully able to perform all the stunts and be the maverick tearing down the street and top speed or boosting himself out of an elevator about to fall or jumping from a building. The parts that are more difficult are the quiet moments where he is interacting with people one on one. The director made a choice to show flashes of him thinking about Molly being tied up from time to time, but instead of motivating our hero and spurring him on to do better, work faster, bring her home!.......he gets more hopeless and weary and looks like he's about to give up. Heroes don't give up! She's your woman, it doesn't matter what the odds are, it's not over till the fat lady sings buddy. That's the heart of the action movie and why we love to watch them. Watching this movie, I thought of Peter Pan and wondered if I was supposed to start clapping to show John Cena that yes, I do believe in fairies to give him the proper kick in the butt to get moving.
CenaI have to say that in the beginning of the movie and the end of the movie, he was given a couple funny lines to say and he delivered them well enough to get me to laugh out loud. I am a WWE fan (more rare for girls I know) and I think he is a very charismatic guy, unfortunately an unsure actor. I think if this had been more of a Bruce Willis type of movie with more comedy laced in instead of being such a downer in between explosions, he could have carried it off a bit better. He seemed capable of delivering a funnier role given the chance.
I had some problems with Aidan Gillen who played Miles Jackson. For an actual Irishman, his accent was so all over the place I had difficulty believing his heritage. Once in a great while he'd throw in a heavy "Danny-boy" but then have no accent whatsoever or having it sound southern! Now I know some people with accents don't have them consistently, but they kept going on and on about him being Irish so I thought a through-line there would have been better. Screw Miles Jackson. What we really needed was some Samuel L. Jackson. That is a man who knows how to yell and be a crazy villain. "They called me Mr. Glass....."
This movie is worth one watching. Watch the action. Try to forgive Cena. They needed a better script and to LIGHTEN UP!
There is commentary featuring John Cena and the writer, Daniel Kunka. You'll hear rousing stories of how there came to be a pug named Shorty in this movie and Cena's fear of heights. From the commentary, you really get the impression that Cena's a nice guy and really just wants to do his best and he probably knows deep down that he isn't much of an actor yet but wants to improve. In one scene the writer even remarked, "Hey, you do some real acting here!" Yikes, shouldn't that happen in every scene? There is also a commentary with the director, Renny Harlin.
There is a stunts featurette that covers Cena learning to drive as a stunt driver and his love of cards and really goes into detail of his fear of heights which really humanizes him I think. There are two alternate endings with commentaries. The alternate endings have very minor differences in dialogue. The gag reel isn't bloopers so much as vodka, push-ups, and fun on the set."
12 Rounds of Die Hard 3
BeastNYC | Brooklyn , New York | 01/03/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
""12 Rounds" starring John Cena is a blatent copy of "Die Hard With A Vengeance". The terrorist in "12 Rounds" said that the hotel man Willie was at the "wrong place at the wrong time" (a reference to the DIE HARD series). I recommend that action fans watch Die Hard 3 instead of this because Bruce Willis' acting skills are 100 times better than John Cena.
The only difference between Die Hard 3 & "12 Rounds" is that in 12 Rounds, The hero kills the terrorist's girlfriend (in Die Hard 3 - the hero killed the terrorist's brother).
John McClane's wife/x-wife is named Holly
John Cena's girlfriend/wife is named Molly
Also, if you have seen Die Hard 4, when the FBI agent tells Bowman "It's above your pay grade" ... In "12 Rounds" (in the hotel lobby) the black FBI agent tells the other one "don't be a hero; it's not in your pay grade".
The climax or finale of "12 Rounds" is a combination of bites from DIE HARD & DIE HARD 3. Think about it ...
Danny Fisher - "It's not about revenge, it's about money" which is the same thing that Hans' brother Simon does. He distracts everyone into thinking that he wants revenge, when in reality he has planned a major heist to steal gold.
In "12 Rounds" - after the trolly crashes, they turn the power off in the area - which allows the terrorist to attempt his robbery (DIE HARD 1).
2 stars for "12 Rounds" a.k.a. Die Hard 3 remake.
Watch John McClane, not John Cena. "
Arnita D. Brown | USA | 01/02/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When New Orleans Police Detective Danny Fisher stops a brilliant thief, Miles, 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 Danny with a series of near-impossible puzzles and tasks... 12 rounds... that Danny must somehow complete to save the life of his fiancee. The movie contains a great load of action. Cena is 12 Rounds of pure action. "