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DVD Review: 12 Rounds

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In 12 Rounds, John Cena (WWE, The Marine) is New Orleans officer Danny Fisher. One fateful night while pursuing international terrorist Miles Jackson (Aidan Gillen) Fisher causes Jackson’s capture and the death of his lover Erica (Taylor Cole).  Jackson, who escapes prison a year later, vows revenge on the now-promoted Detective Fisher.

He starts by kidnapping Fisher’s girlfriend Molly (Ashley Scott) and blowing up their house. Jackson then calls Danny and tells him those actions were rounds one and two; if he can last all 12 rounds he’ll get Molly back. What then unfolds involves Danny solving several tasks, including preventing several bombs from going off at various locations.

The movie seems to take a bit from Die Hard With A Vengeance and Speed, mixes them together and voila there’s your plot. (It’s a bit ironic since we have producers/crew from both of those franchises working on this film.)  While 12 Rounds doesn’t break any new ground, it’s still worth renting and viewing.

Cena is likable as the hero who must use his wits to out-think the terrorist and save the public from his schemes. Gillen makes a creepy terrorist, and is somewhat like that in real life if you believe what’s said in the commentaries. Ashley Scott is believable as the hostage, but with her talent it’s a shame she didn’t have more to do than just be a hostage/motivation for Fisher.

There are two versions of 12 Rounds:  the first is the theatrical release, which was rated PG-13the other is an unrated cut. The DVD includes several extras, including not one, but two, commentaries. The first commentary is with John Cena and screenwriter Dan Kunka and the other is with director Renny Harlin. The Cena/Kunka commentary is the better of the two. They had a lot of fun playing off each other during their commentary; and you could tell they enjoyed working on the film as they told all sorts of stories, including Kunka’s ideas for the script and how Harlin wouldn’t back down on certain ideas. The Harlin commentary is a bit dryer since he’s by himself and covers the same stories that Cena and Kunka regale. Harlin could have benefited from a having partner during his commentary or just might have become a third voice on a single commentary.

"A Crash Course: John Cena Stunts" is a short featurette that goes over some of the stunts and also reveals that Cena is afraid of heights, which is covered a bit more during the two commentaries.  "Never-Before-Cena Gag Reel" is a funny gag reel, and rounding things out are two alternate endings, which also have commentary. While the alternate endings were interesting to watch, the ending ultimately chosen was the best.


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