In recent years, there really hasn't been many truly great action flicks to warrant fans of the genre to go to the theaters. Sure, there has been a few entries in classic action series like Rambo and Indiana Jones hat met with varied success, but not much in the line of fresh new flicks has been produced (Except the awesome Crank). Thus we come to a film that really garnered next to no hype and slipped quietly into theaters, 12 Rounds. Is it the movie action fans have been yearning for? Danny Fisher, played by WWE superstar John Cena, is a New Orleans detective faced with a problem: an old terrorist named Miles he arrested a year back has broken out of jail and has taken Fisher's girl. Now the only way to get her back is to complete 12 rounds of a "game" that Miles created to finally get revenge on the cop that ruined his life. It's an unlikely scenario to be sure, but hey, this is an action flick, so it's just preposterous enough to make for an interesting plot. The thing I don't understand though is the fact that in the trailer for 12 Rounds, it is said to be directed by the same director who did Die Hard 2, and produced by the Speed producer. Why is this odd? Well, it is obvious right from the start that 12 Rounds is a blatant rip-off of Speed right down to some scenes being near carbon-copies. Well, at least they ripped off the cream of the action genre crop I guess.
One of the major compliments I feel I have to give to the filmmakers comes in that no noticeable CGI was used anywhere in the movie. CGI has been overused way too much as of late, so to see an action movie with good ol' fashioned stunts and explosions is great. What's better than no CGI is how all the action is done incredibly well. Between great car chases, huge explosions, and nicely choreographed fights, it's a feast for the eyes. Of course, all this awesomeness couldn't just stay awesome thanks heavily to the awful camera-work. Similar to Quantum of Solace's quick cuts and shaky camera during action sequences, 12 Rounds makes it difficult at times to tell what the hell is going on. I don't see what is wrong with traditional camera-work where viewers can actually enjoy the high-quality special effects since they can be seen in all their glory, but I digress.
Honestly, there really isn't much to say about this one. If you are an action fan that has already seen every Stallone and Schwarzenegger movie under the sun, then 12 Rounds is sure to entertain on a rainy afternoon. Granted, it doesn't bring much to the table in terms of new concepts or anything like that, but it's entertaining, and that all that really matters, right? Again, it's a complete and utter rip-off of Speed, but it's a damn fine rip-off, and I would be willing to call this Speed 2 more than that pathetic piece of crap film with the cruise ship. After jumping to conclusions when I saw John Cena as the star and it being a WWE Production, I was genuinely surprised by the entertainment value found within, and I think that if viewers go in with the right mindset, they too will have a great time.
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