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12 ROUNDS, 2008
Movie Reviews!

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12 ROUNDS
12 ROUNDS
Movie Reviews

Directed by Renny Harlin
Starring : John Cena, Aidan Gillen, Ashley Scott
Review by Matthew Toffolo

SYNOPSIS:

Detective Danny Fisher (Cena) discovers his girlfriend (Scott) has been kidnapped by a ex-con tied to Baxter's past, and he'll have to successfully complete 12 challenges in order to secure her safe release.

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REVIEW:

I can see the pitch meeting now: Speed meets Die Hard = 12 Rounds.

This is a film that is fun to watch but reminds me of eating an entire bag of candy. You enjoy it when you're doing it, but you feel it all over your insides after you are finished. My stomach was hurting after 12 Rounds because I felt cheated by the entire thing but really didn't mind it because I enjoyed myself nonetheless.

The problem in hindsight is that this is a really silly plot from beginning to end.

A lot of friends I grew up with became cops and I've been fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to meet many people on the cop beat because of them. 99% of all cops are good people who have a strong stomach because they've seen a lot of really bad things. BUT they aren't superheroes. I've never met a cop like they give us at the movies. These guys and girls have passed a physical test at the beginning but because they spend 95% of their job either sitting at a desk or in a car, they all get out of shape very quickly. And none of these guys have any special skills like Karate or are sharp shooters with the gun. They are all normal people who live normal lives and treat their job as such.

Police Officer Danny Fisher (John Cena) is a cop superhero. In the setup he basically ran through the entire city of New Orleans as he chased after a moving car to get his man. He jumped on cars, ran through people's houses, found guns on the ground to use, had a conflict with a guard dog..... he did it all. He might as well of been Batman. This is a person who doesn't exist in the real world. Then the plot revolves around a game between John Cena and the criminal mastermind he took down. Tales of Speed and Die Hard 3. Fun plots but they make no sense because a criminal mastermind would never be that stupid to do something like that. They would seek revenge in another way. And no matter how smart these guys are, there is no way they could come up with all of these clever games in such a short time. The criminal just escaped from prison a week ago and in a span of 7 days he pulls off one of the greatest games in the history of mankind that revolves around so many situations and places, it would take 5 years to set it up.

But that's really not the point of 12 Rounds is it?

This is a film that we're suppose to watch to have a good time with and be strickly entertained. But the problem is that the silly plot situations and characters can take you out of the film when watching it. Or, like me, have pain in the insides after viewing it because your intelligence was insulted so many times in a span of 120 minutes.

This is another WWE Film Studio production that is gearing to make John Cena their next Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. Cena is fine as the lead in 12 Round only when there is action involved. Whenever an emotional scene takes place between him and another person, he just has a hard time pulling off the emotional beats that are needed. This is only his second film, so he's really just beginning, but he has a long way to go before he reaches The Rock's level of acting.

And Renny Harlin. A director who seemed to be destined for a great career as an action director in Hollywood. If you watch his early films and then take a look at Michael Bay's films, you can see that Bay really borrowed a lot of Harlin's directing styles. He's a talented guy who I was fortunate enough to observe for a few weeks while he was making the Indy Car movie DRIVEN, starring and written by Sly Stallone. But he really picks the wrong scripts to do and seems to always get a leading man who is either on the upswing or downswing and never in their peak, with the exception of his most popular film Die Hard 2.

12 Rounds was suppose to be a John Cena is here movie, plus also give Harlin a career resurgence. But we've seen this film before and they aren't giving us anything new for it to stand the test of time longer than a year. Too bad.

Back to the drawing board WWE.


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