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12 Rounds


Stars: John Cena, Aiden Gillen, Ashley Scott, Brian White, Taylor Cole

Director: Renny Harlin

Not a boxing movie, just a non-stop action film, in which an arms dealer (Gillen) escapes from prison, and seeks revenge on the cop (ex World Wrestling star Cena) who arrested him and inadvertently caused the death of his girlfriend (Cole).

He blows up the cop's car and his home, kidnaps his fiancee (Scott) and sets him 12 tasks to save her, in the manner of Hercules, whose formidable figure Cena would one day be admirably qualified to play. These modern-day labours include such things as stopping a runaway cablecar - in the film's best sequence - but everything the criminal mastermind does has an ulterior motive leading to his final goal.

This kind of thing doesn't need much acting. which is just as well, as it doesn't get it, particular not from Cena in the kind of role Jean-Claude Van Damme might have played in one of his better movies. Never mind, the picture is virtually nothing but action: you can hardly take your eyes off the screen for a moment. For fans of films like Crank, it's a blast.

David Quinlan

USA 2008. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by deluxe.
107 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 23 May 2009