Nearly two hours older having a watched a film deeply in debt (to the Die Hard films).

The (very short) reviews of Reny Harlin’s new actioner 12 Rounds sketch out the simple high concept. After catching an international terrorist, John Cena’s detective is subjected a year later to a “game” of 12 Rounds when the master criminal escapes from prison. It is worth noting however that the terrorist is not caught for a good twenty minutes, and when you realise how long some of the “rounds” are going to take you lose all of the will to live, much like if you were an innocent bystander in New Orleans in the way of this plot. Because on a scale of one to Katrina, the selfish acts taken by our hero Danny are certainly on the levee breaking side.

Rennie Harlin has made some lousy films, so the poster has to find one of the good ones to put on the poster. So they pick Die Hard 2, which is a touch unfortunate because 12 Rounds is basically Die Hard With A Vengence in New Orleans with a lead so thoroughly uncharismatic that you root for the baddie just to get it over with. From World Wrestling Entertainment Studios, it proudly states at the start, but John Cena lacks the star quality of previous wrestlers in films. As an actor he is probably worse than Roddy Piper was in They Live: and bear in mind that John Carpenter played to Piper’s strengths by putting a fifteen minute fist fight in that movie. He wasn’t asked to emote at the death of a fat man. Actually John Cena is most reminiscent of one of The Rock’s co-stars in his action film Walking Tall*, the six by four planks of wood.

SO in case you have never seen any of the Die Hard films (which this borrows from liberally), all you need to know to not enjoy 12 Rounds is:
a) The FBI are stupid
b) Master criminals do everything for a reason (even if this makes their plan ludicrously unlikely to work)
c) If your girlfriend is a helicopter pilot, perhaps mention it before she flies a helicopter.

Indeed ending with a fight on a helicopter makes one yearn for Crank, and the ending of that film too. Still I doubt we are going to see 12 Rounds 2, or 24 Rounds. Just remember if you jump from a helicopter which explodes a second later, I would expect some debris to fall staright down too…

*Another co-star being poor old Ashley Scott who having been in two wrestler action films is surely doomed for life, helicopter pilot or no.