Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

12 Rounds

 
 
 

Review by Patrick Hodges

It’s interesting that the trailer for 12 Rounds elaborates “From the Director of Die Hard 2…and the producer of Speed” in it, given that the story line is actually almost a carbon copy of Die Hard With a Vengeance.  You remember that one:  a notorious foreign criminal (Jeremy Irons) sends John McClane (Bruce Willis) rushing pell-mell all over NYC, ostensibly to get back at him for murdering his brother in the first Die Hard movie, but it turns out he actually has a more, shall we say, material goal in mind.

Substitute New Orleans for New York City, a British baddie (Aidan Gillen) for a German one, and a much younger, beefier cop (WWF star John Cena) in the hero’s role, and you basically have 12 Rounds.  Not that there’s anything totally wrong with that, it’s just not terribly original, you know?

John Cena only has one other major film on his resume (The Marine), so let’s just say he’s not really established himself as a bona fide action star.  12 Rounds may help a little bit in that regard, given that it doesn’t require much actual acting, but he’s not nearly as relatable in the role of Det. Danny Fisher as Willis’s McClane.  Cena’s youth and musculature kind of belie his attempts to look haggard and bedraggled, which was, let’s face it, a good part of McClane’s charm.  Well, that and his one-liners:  there’s no “Yippee ki-yay” equivalent in this film, I’m sorry to say.

However, the plot, though far-fetched, was decent, and the action sequences were quite good, and if you are looking for a good 90-minute diversion, I would recommend 12 Rounds.  It’ll never take its place among the pantheon of one-man-army films, but it’ll do in a pinch.

3 ½ / 5 stars

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