Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Film Review: 12 Rounds


In 12 Rounds, WWE Wrestling superstar John Cena stars as Danny Fisher, a New Orleans cop whose girlfriend Molly (played by Avril Poisson) has been kidnapped by an Irish arms dealer who blames Fisher for the death of his own girlfriend one year previous. The kidnapper (Aiden Gillen) has set a series of challenges and trials for Fisher to overcome before he will return Molly; if the streetwise policeman fails any, his girlfriend will die.

The first thing that struck me about this film is the quality of Cena’s acting. This probably shouldn’t come as a surprise, as professional wrestlers are paid to act for a living, selling punches and pain on a nightly basis. But with the exception of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, few wrestlers have managed to carry over a career in the ring to believable acting. Hulk Hogan and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin are two names who spring to mind here. Cena, on the other hand, conveys as much emotion with a single worried glance as Austin could muster in all of The Condemned. When faced with unfathomable odds, the actor really made us believe he was weary, afeared and yet passionate.

The film itself is a rip-roaring thrillride, taking us from despair to exhilaration in seconds. Each of the rounds in question had me on the edge of my seat, from stopping an out-of-control streetcar to the race around the city in a speeding fire truck. The stunts are all of the highest calibre, and the explosions and fight scenes rocked me to my core.

If I were to have one qualm with this film, it’s that it’s a little too long. Personally, I would have been satisfied with eight or nine rounds, rather than the full gamut of twelve, but still, a numb posterior is a small price to pay for such excitement.


The performances from all actors are excellent, with the aforementioned Cena obviously having control of the screen, but Gillen as the bad guy really does appear sinister and evil. It's without a doubt his best role since Queer as Folk. Supporting roles are also well-filled, and I don't recall a poor performance in the movie.


All in all, I would give 12 Rounds four stars out of five. It brings excitement, adventure and big bangs in equal measures, without condescending the viewer or looking down at him. And I can't wait to see Cena in more films; there is a danger that this acting talent will be typecast in action movies, so I'd like to see him try his hand at period drama.


12 Rounds, starring John Cena and Aiden Gillen is in Cinemas now. Check local listings for show times.

13 comments:

Dealer Man said...

An actual review? Of something that really exists?? I am in a state of shock!!!

Dealer Man said...

Ignore that last comment, I just realized what day it is.

Soda and Candy said...

*imagining John Cena in satin knickerbockers and a white curled wig*

words words words said...

Good show! Excellent trickery.

red said...

Whoa. This makes my universe not feel good.

BeckEye said...

What in the balls? Your whole blog is suddenly a John Cena ad!

Falwless said...

Red pointed me here. I'm glad she did. You are ridiculous.

Chaka said...

I hate April fools. I can't tell if you gave it a decent rating or if your review was dripping with sarcasm. I'll have to keep tabs on your blog to find out.

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Hello all! Sorry for blowing your minds. Normal services will be resumed shortly.

Some Guy said...

I'm such a sap. The whole time reading it I was waiting for the comedic hook that never came. This didn't show up on my Google Reader until today so the April 1 part didn't occur to me. Nicely done!

Del-V said...

Hulk Hogan was great in one of those Rocky movies. I think it was number 2.

Divya said...

Any idea when is 12 rounds releasing in India?

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