Monday, June 8, 2009

Quick Review: 12 Rounds


Have you seen Die Hard With A Vengeance? You've seen 12 Rounds.

The main thing of interest is whether John Cena, wrestler turned actor "du jour" has any future at all in the acting game; I would say a qualified yes - as an action hero he is far to 80s/90s for the modern world, next to normal sized modern heroes like uber-torturer Jack Bauer and nicey-nicey Jason Bourne, a hulking Arnie type action man blowing stuff up with impunity, all the while looking as earnest as a cow during a bowel movement, is dated and simultaneously quite endearing.

His niche may well be as a sort of lower rent Arnie - tough guys and superheros maybe, but ordinary cop? Not likely. Perhpas I'm being generous and a burgeoning career in motion capture awaits the guy. He's a likable screen presence, but you'll be in no danger of thinking he's the new Bruce Willis.

As for the rest of the cast, the only notable member is Aiden Gillen - who turns in a wonderfully cheque cashing performance as the villain.

As obvious retreads go, it is inoffensive but pointless, and appeals sometimes to the very lowest IQs - notably in the final fight between the leads where Cena's wife explains the action beats as we go ("He's got a gun!" comes two seconds AFTER Gillen fires at Cena).

The evil plan is so tortuous that it makes absolutely no sense - and some of the solutions don't either (e.g. assuming cutting the power to a tram will stop it dead when it is heading downhill).

So it's not a terrible film, but its existence won't send even the merest ripple across the still pond of American Film-Making.


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