If you shuffled together the scripts for Speed and Die Hard 3, and split it in two you'd have Daniel Kunka's script for 12 Rounds. The similarities are striking, and too numerous to list. But as a crash-and-burn action film it is very entertaining, has many exiting scenes, and features a charismatic villain. Unfortunately, John Cena, as the troubled hero, is about as emotive as a draft excluder (one of those long, stuffed snakes...remember those?). Cena is likeable, but he's very, very, very far from being an accomplished actor.
One year after busting an international terrorist, New Orleans cop Danny Fisher is thrown into an impossible gauntlet when the criminal breaks out of jail. He must survive twelve rounds of increasingly difficult challenges in order to save his kidnapped girlfriend. The crook himself is Miles Jackson (played nicely by Aidan Gillen), a criminal mastermind who plays the deadly game fast and loose. As I said, he's a great villain, and one that you might partially side with after the accidental death of his girlfriend during the opening.
Renny Harlin has been slumming it for a while now. Ever since Cutthroat Island tanked he's had a hard time keeping his career afloat. When one watches all of his movies from different eras it becomes clear that the man has no style of his own and simply emulates whatever the current trend happens to be. His effort in 12 rounds is merely a pastiche of all the usual CSI/Michael Bay moves. The camera never sits still, regardless of whether or not it's appropriate to the scene. Trevor Rabin provides a rather generic score, but has a couple of nice, repeating themes that bring more emotion to the scenes than Cena is able to show.
12 Rounds will never win awards or even earn itself any particular distinction among action movies, but when you're having this much fun, who cares?
The Blu Ray looks absolutely stunning in 2.35:1 1080p with DTS HD-MA sound. There are a fair amount of extras too.