12 ROUNDS is a piss-poor, formulaic, buddy-cop action flick, that has the cast and production values of a B-movie. It's basically a break-out vehicle for WWE wrestling star John Cena - a man so massive the screenwriter actually makes a joke about him being "freakishly large". And speaking of the screenwriter, despite the IMDB credit for Daniel Kunka, the flick was actually been written by Shane Black, the guy who wrote the massively superior Lethal Weapon movies and, more recently, the quirky thriller, KISS KISS BANG BANG. 12 ROUNDS is a humourless caricature of all that made the Lethal Weapon films great. Two humble beat-cops cum buddies (John Cena, Brian White) happen to intercept an international arms dealers (Aidan Gillan) when he's in New Orleans for the weekend. A year later, and the beat cops have been promoted to detective and the arms dealer has broken out of prison. In order to get revenge, he blows up the cop's house and kidnaps his girlfriend. The cops have to jump through 12 tasks in order to see her again. Yes, yes, despite the faux-realism of the hand-held Bourne-esque action sequences, this plot is incredibly, implausibly contrived. There are lots of chase scenes, none of which set the pulse racing, some mediocre acting, and an entirely predictable denouement. Seriously, just stay home and watch LETHAL WEAPON or BEVERLY HILLS COP and see how this stuff is supposed to be done.
12 ROUNDS was released earlier this year in Australia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Canada, the USA, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, New Zealand, the UAE, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Russia, the Ukraine, Finland and Mexico. It is currently on release in the UK, Germany and Portugal. It opens in June in South Korea, Turkey and Romania; on July 31st in Italy; and in Bolivia, Brazil and France in mid-August.
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