12 Rounds (2009)
Cena stars in well-rounded action flick
Some critics have insinuated that the recently released on home video film 12 Rounds is the biggest disaster to ever take place in New Orleans. However, the Cinema Connoisseur is here to tell you that the John Cena action vehicle ranks as one of 2009’s most pleasant surprises.
In 12 Rounds, Cena stars as Detective Danny Fisher, a New Orleans police officer. On a seemingly routine night on the job, Fisher gets entangled in a chase as the FBI is hunting down one of their most wanted, a terrorist named Miles Jackson. Fisher ends up the hero as he arrests Jackson, but in the process Jackson’s girlfriend is killed.
Fast forward one year, and we learn that Jackson has escaped. Vowing revenge on Fisher, he kidnaps his girlfriend Molly. Jackson tells Fisher that if he ever wants to see Molly again, he’ll have to complete an elaborate and dangerous twelve stage game. This leads to the next hour of the film which sees Fisher take part in one life threatening task after another. Running through burning buildings, leaping out of moving vehicles, eating at Taco Bell, Fisher does it all in the name of love.
12 Rounds leading man Cena is quite a polarizing figure in the world of professional wrestling. Despite the fact that he is a good guy (or “baby face” to use an inside term), and works very hard, the man gets no respect from at least half of the audience. Unfortunately, the same thing is happening with his movie career.
Cena’s first film The Marine tanked at the box office. That was not too much of a shock, as it was a rather simplistic, paint by numbers action flick. While the script may have been lacking, Cena himself was quite good, putting the likes of Steven Segal and Jean-Claude Van Damme to shame. I’m sure you will agree that is no easy task.
So for Cena’s second film, he was given a far more elaborate storyline, a bigger budget, and an established director (Renny Harlin, the man behind Die Hard 2: Die Harder). Sadly, the film was even less successful. 12 Rounds disappeared from theatres shortly after the opening bell. It’s truly a shame, as the film stacks up favourably with similarly themed movies such as Die Hard With a Vengeance and Speed. It also stacks up favourably with Oscar winning films American Beauty and Schindler’s List, as those films featured far too few explosions, and absolutely no scenes in which the main character hung from the bottom of a helicopter.
Is 12 Rounds a realistic film? No! Is it a perfect film? No. Should you see it? You most certainly should. It provides one hour and forty-five minutes of pure adrenaline and escapism.
Not only is it 2009’s most action packed film, it may also be the most romantic. It’s about a man risking life and limb to save the life of the woman he loves. Guys, if you want to make your lady happy, head to the video store, and resist the urge to rent Confessions of a Shopaholic or He’s Just Not That Into You. Instead, come back home holding a copy of 12 Rounds…and a box of Trojans as well – you’re going to need them. 12 Rounds is the ultimate aphrodisiac.