Friday, 30 October 2009

12 Rounds - Dir. Renny Harlin

Going in to watch ’12 Rounds’, John Cena’s latest action-orientated vehicle for those who enjoy fast cars and large explosions, my expectation wasn’t exactly high – if anything it was smack-down (see what I did there...) against the floor, but when I left the cinema I was confused beyond belief. How could a film not even get within touching distance of my lowest expectations? Well; you take two parts poor director, one-part wrestler-turned-actor, a sprinkling of a ridiculous plot and a bake for one and a half hours with one incredibly dreadful script.

The basic premise is that Danny Fisher (John Cena) is your normal-on-the-beat wrestler turned police officer who manages to apprehend one of the most dangerous international arms-dealers Miles Jackson (Aiden Gillen) by luck, however during the arrest Miles girlfriend walks in-front of a bus, or a truck, or something and gets splattered all over the road. Move forward to a year later, and John Danny Fisher is now a Detective and so is his stereotypical black partner Hank Carver (Brian White), who must now battle the crazy Irish-criminal psychopath Miles who has broken out of a Correctional Facility somehow and has kidnapped Fisher’s wife Molly (Ashley Scott). With his house in tatters, his friendly neighbourhood Plumber in six million bits and his pride at stake, Fisher must ‘play’ twelve rounds (i.e. one round centres around stopping a cable-car which has lost control and is hurtling slowly towards some generally ignorant people who refuse to slowly get out of the way) against the insane criminal to get his wife back and presumably, live happily ever after.

Like I said, I didn’t have high-expectations going in to this film, but it is really terrible, I mean really terrible. The plot is boring, the explosions are tame and the action stale, which is incredibly important and key to the success of the film when you attempt to make a no-brain action-flick. Every character seems to be been picked straight out of ‘Clichéd Movie Characters #101’ including the hilarious, yet cringe-worthy FBI Agent Ray Santiago (Gonzalo Menendez) who first tries to ‘stop’ Fisher, before putting their conflict aside to help him in the battle against the evil one-man-criminal band. Even the final chapter of the film in which you find out Miles real motive and are treated to the most insanely idiotic action-set-piece ever conceived is insulting to your intelligence, yet, to be fair the last line of the film is guaranteed to have you leaving the cinema in a fit of laughter.

It has probably been said before, and I expect it will be said again; John Cena, you should really leave the acting career at home and stick to wrestling, for the sake of wrestling and film fans alike.
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