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VINE VOICEon 18 May 2009
'12 Rounds' stars wrestler John Cena as a New Orleans cop named Danny Fisher who captures international terrorist and weapons dealer, Miles Jackson, but Jackson's girlfriend is accidentally killed in the pursuit. One year later, Fisher is now a detective living a perfect life with his wife Molly and their dog but on the anniversary of the arrest, Jackson escapes from prison and wants revenge on Fisher for the death of the love of his life by kidnapping his wife. Fisher must then go through 12 gruelling rounds doing anything that Jackson asks in order to get his wife back.

I've been looking forward to seeing this for a while as it looked great from the trailers, it is directed by Renny Harlin who is the director of Die Hard 2 and the producer of Speed and I also really enjoyed The Condemned last year which is also an action film from WWE Studios. And now after seeing this film I can happily say that this film is awesome. It has lightning-quick action and excitement from the opening minutes, going from the capture of Jackson for the first 20 minutes or so to then when he has escaped and Fisher going through the tasks to save his wife. The story sounded fairly basic and unoriginal from any reviews I'd read about it but I was surprised by the amount of clever plot twists there were throughout the movie. The ending in particular had a very cool twist that I never saw coming. There are a lot of similarities to films like Speed and Die Hard With A Vengeance, but is equally as good. Acting from Cena is surprisingly good, playing the hard-as-nails yet gentle giant cop, and I think, given the right roles, he could be an excellent Hollywood action hero in the future. The special effect were pretty impressive too, especially the scene with the street car which looked very realist and the helicopter scene.

Overall this is one of the best action films I've seen in a while and is one I highly recommend to anyone after 100 minutes of adrenaline-fuelled, over the top, non-stop action.
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on 4 April 2013
I am a HUGE fan of all things John Cena, whether it be is wrestling techniques, his music or his acting abilities, which could be better improved here, anyway i was amazed to come across this movie as i had no idea it existed! having seen his debut in "The Marine", and the fact that it was directed by Renny "Die Hard 2" Harlin i snapped it up.
If it's big bangs and exposive action sequences you're after then you can do no wrong with this, and if you can overcome John's weak acting abilities then you'll enjoy this. It kind of reminded me of Die Hard 3 but, in my opinion it is much better than that. There are some amazing stunt sequences and having seen the short docs follwing the film it's easy to see why John preferred to do all his own stunts, and it shows. It's no masterpiece but it is a blast from start to finish.
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on 15 February 2012
As soon as I see that a movie stars a wrestler or a UFC fighter, my expectations are generally middle of the road and I expect a typical DTV actioner with lots of focus on fight scenes and not a lot on the plot. However, I have seen John Cena in a couple of movies and I do find he his one of the better wrestlers come actors and he helps make 12 Rounds an above average cat and mouse action movie. Cena is the only well known name involved in the movie outside of director Renny Harlin, but the supporting cast are good enough to keep the scenes ticking over even if they are nothing great. I found the special effects to be of high quality and the action scenes well shot so as a popcorn movie, this comes recommended. 3.5/5
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on 12 March 2014
Just another big, dumb Hollywood blockbusting actioner with a wrestler as the lead? Well, yes but it's well worth a watch. Ludicrous entertainment with some derivative action scenes. Still hugely entertaining and benefitting from a lovely leading lady, here in the shape of Ashley Scott who deserves a much better film/role. As the bad guy Aidan Gillen is serviceable enough but obviously no Alan Rickman, or Jeremy Irons. It's a little bit over long and can drag in places but it delivers some fine set pieces. John Cena is no Bruce Willis but he does get the job done. And then some. You could do a whole lot worse, unfortunately you can do immensely better too. But all in all you get what you pay for.
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on 7 November 2010
I'll be the first to admit that I am a wrestling fan, but not a fan of John Cena (I used to like him in his early years, but have grown bored with him), yet I have once again felt the need to at least watch another of his films (I wasnt overly impressed with The Marine).
First things first, one of the things that made the classic 80s action flicks so good was the humour, which often took your mind off the ridiculous plots and not necessarily great acting. While there is certainly more humour here than in The Marine, its still very minimal, and comes at totally the wrong time (Cena was cracking jokes not long after his partner died).
While there is no Samuel L following him around through the movie, the plot is very similar to Die Hard 3, with Cena being run around the city by a guy with a supposed grudge against him, which later turns out is not the motivation of the villain at all. It also ends up with a helicopter scene leading me to believe that Harlin wanted to say "this is how I would have handled Die Hard 3".

Overall its not a bad film if you have nothing better to watch, but give me a cheesy Arnie, Sly or Seagal film any day of the week over something like this.

I dont have any massive complaints about Cenas acting, although he is very wooden at times.
Cena at his best in wrestling promos was when he didnt seem like he was reading a script, adding a little bit of his own personality to things, and thats probably what should have been done here.
You always got the feeling that the likes of Arnie were always adding their own ad libs during movies, but you certainly never get that feeling with Cena here.

I would say though, compared to Aidan Gillen, who plays the villain, Cena looks like Deniro, as Gillen was just not convincing as the bad guy in the slightest.

Watch it if you enjoy dumb action movies (like me), but dont expect anything on a par with the likes of Commando, Rambo or Die Hard.
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on 28 August 2010
I watched this thriller with a lot of reservations. It starred a wrestler - a breed not usually known for great acting talent. It starred Aiden Gillen as the bad guy - an actor who was so badly miscast as a lisping wet blanket of a bad guy in Shanghai Knights that his only good scene was in the climax. Also, to anyone who's ever seen this kind of action film before, it clearly gave away the ending of the film in the trailer.
However, it's ended up being a very good little action movie. A lot of this is down to the underrated director, Renny Harlin, who frequently has a magician's touch with over-the-top action scripts. This one he shoots with a kinetic energy that's very exciting and helps to keep the pacing fast and enthusiastic at even the occasional slightly cliche-filled moments. The other boost to the film's quality, surprisingly for me, is John Cena. Despite having the physical stature of a giant Redwood tree trunk, he's capable of a very charming and likeable leading man charisma. While a tiny bit rough around the edges, his acting is natural and committed enough to sell us on his performance as a cop racing to save his wife, when vengeful bad guy Gillen gets out of prison and sets about making Cena's cop his whipping boy by making him jump through hoop after hoop. The 'tests' Cena has to pass are nicely configured within the typically daft action movie plot, and Gillen surprises by being a much more effective bad guy than in the woeful effort I mentioned at the start of this review.
The chases are fast and exciting, the tension is ratchetted very high by Harlin's skillful handling, and there are a handful of minor surprises in there even for action movie veterans.
It's loud, flashy, exciting, and it looks amazing on blu-ray. What more could you ask for?
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VINE VOICEon 10 November 2009
So this wont be winning any Oscars. And yes, John Cena could be winning a raspberry award for the acting, but hey, nobody complained about the Terminator series!

I was sick yesterday and my wife was away so wanted a good boys movie to pass the time. One that didn't require too much brain power and didn't have too much gore either. This was recommended to me by a friend and it did the trick.

If my friend hadn't recommended it, I would not have bothered because there aren't any 'big name' actors in it, which often, with Hollywood is a sign of a bad movie. However, this one delivers on numerous counts. The action is decent, the storyline has a mild twist at the end, and to be honest, I really started to hate the baddie, which means I got involved with the story.

The action doesn't lull and there isn't a whole lot of dialogue. However, neither are there too many 'clever' (i.e. stupid) one-liners that tend to add dollops of cheese to many such movies.

So yes. If you are having a boys night in and quite happy to watch a movie that doesn't have semi-naked women in it, but want plenty of action, a decent storyline and are prepared to put up with amateur acting from one-half of the lead characters, then this is the movie to be recommended.

It did the trick for me.
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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.
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on 25 November 2009
this film was good movie to watch it was a 2009 version of speed
with a difference. the difference was it was not about a bomb on a bus but bombs placed in certain areas and on his kidnaped girl friend body. plus the fbi are there as well. there is plenty action in this film with runaway trains buildings blown up.well worth a look
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For fans of this action-packed John Cena movie - UK buyers should note that BOTH variants of it on American BLU RAY are REGION A LOCKED - so won't play on our machines unless they're chipped to be 'all regions' (which few are).

Best to stick with the UK 20th Century Fox versions - they're cheap - a they look great too...
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