One night on patrol David Fisher (Wrestling star John Cena) arrests international terrorist Miles Jackson (Aidan Gillen) after an enduring chase by foot. In the proceedings the lover of this terrorists get fatally hit by a car. The arrest ends with the terrorist taking up the name of Fisher so you know where this is going.
One year later Detective Fisher, after having a quarrel with his girlfriend, gets a call by the aforementioned terrorist. He has kidnapped his girlfriend and if he doesn’t solve his riddles he will kill her. This will result in a lot of running around the city and stunt work and will instantly remember everyone of Die Hard With A Vengeance. Basically 12 Rounds is a DHWaV rip-off with low-budget casting and high-budget production values.
WWE-wrestler John Cena gets to do the Bruce Willis role after he starred in an 80’s throwback action movie called The Marine. But Cena is no Willis and charisma or the ability to act are not one of his talents. Cena is just a wrestler and sports quite a muscular torso. Somehow a movie like this with a star like that requires the guy to run around showing off his muscles but in the movie he’s constantly wearing jackets concealing everything. This made no sense to me. They could’ve just given that role to someone with a smaller posture. But the fact that this movie is produced by the WWE production company explains why there is a wrestler in the lead role, but it doesn’t explain why he never flexes his muscles.
I just wonder how this movie would’ve been if it had some original ingredients in the plot and other stars. Take the movie Taken for instance. On paper pure basic 80’s trash that Steven Seagal would’ve made in 1990. But with the flashy direction and against-typcasting of Liam Neeson it became a very cool and fun film. This could’ve also been if the writing was better and if it had someone else in the lead role. Now we have to do with situations that require suspension of disbelief due to lazy writing. For instance: the kidnapped girlfriend just so happens to be working in a hospital. The bad guy (who also is able to transport her from populated location to populated location without being spotted) needs her to supply him with body bags in which he can put the stolen money. When he tries to escape with her from the hospital by helicopter she turns out to be able to fly a helicopter. Nurse by day, helicopter pilot by night.
Renny Harlin, you did your best but you got knocked out out in the second round. As for John Cena: I’ll be seeing you in DTV-land.