12 Rounds

As in not off. If you want to post about mainstream flicks, this is the forum.

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Remo D
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12 Rounds

Post by Remo D » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:53 pm

Don't say it. You KNOW why I did it. My son is a huge John Cena fan and he has been BEGGING to see this film from the moment it was first announced. This is me being a "good Dad" and suffering mightily in the process.

Now, the idea that pro wrestlers inherently "can't act" is nonsense. They do it all the time. And I don't even have to point at Dwayne Johnson (formerly The Rock)--I can go all the way back to Roddy Piper and THEY LIVE if I feel like it. Kane was fine as a horror villain in SEE NO EVIL (even if the movie wasn't that great) and the failure of THE CONDEMNED wasn't Stone Cold's fault as I saw it.

12 ROUNDS, on the other hand, gives no indication that John Cena is cut out to be a leading man. But the problem I have is that I can't tell if it's simply because he can't act--or because he's given absolutely nothing to WORK with here. Give him a shot at a comedy and I'll get back to you on that.

Okay, here's the scoop. 12 ROUNDS is a nuts-and-bolts SPEED ripoff that doesn't appear to have been polished past the first-draft stage by first-time screenwriter Daniel Kunka. Cena is Officer Danny Fisher. He captures nasty Irish terrorist Miles Jackson (prolific television actor Aidan Gillen is the ONLY one who tries to breathe life into his role), but Jackson's girlfriend is killed in the process. One year later, the bad guy escapes and kidnaps Danny's girlfriend, and Danny's gotta run all over New Orleans defusing bombs and preventing various disasters as part of Jackson's elaborate twelve-round "game."

The film is so generic that it makes you want to scream--and the cast knows it. It's not like DEATH RACE, where the seasoned players convince you that they're the FIRST ONES to ever experience these cliches: these guys practically sleepwalk through them while the music pounds away pointlessly.

Many scenes have the potential to work--it should have been a riot when Danny and his FBI buddy are frantically calling the power plant to have them shut off the juice, only to be put on hold and made to listen to Barry Manilow (so they say--we don't even get to hear the hold music for a chuckle). But the gag is lost in the limp execution. So's the big moment where the other FBI guy reveals why he's been clicking a Matchbox car like a cigarette lighter through the whole movie (big soul-searching character moment dropped like a sack of potatoes).

Oh, and if it's not enough that the black FBI agent learns his lesson and decides that saving Danny's girlfriend Molly's white ass is just as important as stopping that bad ol puddy-tat terrorist... Danny actually has a COMIC RELIEF BLACK SIDEKICK BUDDY THAT GETS KILLED!!! (That is, after getting shot in the ass in the FIRST part of the movie!) I mean--did ANYBODY think that that one might have been DONE in another movie or two? Yeah, THAT's going to play well in New Orleans...

One more thing--as this is a watered-down PG-13 affair, don't expect much in hard-hitting violence or realistic dialogue... I especially could not believe the overemphasis on the punchline "BITCH!" Hey, folks--the last time THAT was funny was when Bob Barker used it on Adam Sandler, okay???

Yeah, Renny Harlin did a great job with DIE HARD 2--thing is he had Bruce Willis... there's SOMETHING to be said for experienced actors. Nowadays, everything poor Renny touches turns into a huge flop, and this one was no exception. WWE really ought to reconsider its theatrical aspirations at this point.

Oh, my son? He loved it. But he's nine years old and he never saw SPEED or any DIE HARD movie--the material was new to HIM.

So if you're nine years old or an absolute "die hard" John Cena fan, hurry, hurry, hurry--this one's not going to last much longer.

All others beware--but I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.
My dog's breath smells like peanut butter...

...and I don't even have a dog!

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Post by steven_millan » Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:45 pm

One of the few reviews that I've seen of this barely playing-in-theaters film,for the other sole review at the Mobius film also hated this film,but at least Cena's comic relief partner being killed early(in the film) sounds like a plus.

And yeah:too bad that Renny Harlin's career nowadays resorts to making either terrible films or stuff that goes Direct-To-DVD,and THE CONDEMNED would have been a monster theatrical success if they would have made it ten years ago(at the height of Steve Austin's mega-popularity),and the less said about(the much hated)Cena,the better.

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