Plot: What’s it about?
An infamous terrorist named Miles Jackson (Aidan Gillen) has arrived in New Orleans to do some work and pick up some fast funds. At the same time, federal authorities are aware of his situation and prepare to take him down, but Jackson is able to evade them with help from his girlfriend Erica (Taylor Cole). When the call goes out for assistance, police officer Danny Fisher (John Cena) and his partner respond. Fisher notices Erica in a car, so the two pull her over and Fisher’s partner takes a personal interest in the beautiful Erica. But then he is gunned down by Jackson, which leads to a shoot out in which Erica is killed, but Jackson is put behind bars. But one year later, it would seem Jackson has returned, as Fisher’s girlfriend is kidnapped and unless he completes a series of tasks for her captor, he will lose her forever.
I have no idea who thought John Cena would make a great action hero, but they should be fired. He might be popular thanks to WWE’s force feed method of promotion, but his lack of skills and charisma are obvious. This is why even WWE fans have turned on him and in 12 Rounds, we see his acting is even worse than his wrestling. His goofy face all but nullifies his chemically enhanced, juiced to the gills physique, which looks more grotesque than intimidating. He has little presence, no tough guy credibility, and he is simply out of his element in 12 Rounds. And without a capable lead, the film falls apart and Renny Harlin’s sleepwalking direction doesn’t help matters. This is just another low rent, low watt action movie that makes TNT original pictures efforts look like total blockbusters. Avoid 12 Rounds at all costs.
Video: How does it look?
12 Rounds is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The visuals look good, with a clean and sharp presentation that never disappoints. I wasn’t floored by the image, but it looks good and suffers from no serious concerns. The clarity is solid, colors look natural, and contrast performs well. This is no match for the Blu-ray release of course, but if you’re still stuck with DVDs, this is a more than capable effort.
Audio: How does it sound?
This Dolby Digital 5.1 option is rock solid, with some good power in the action scenes. The surrounds are alive and well in those instances, with great presence and palpable power. Not rock the foundations stuff, but some power is here and that adds to the experience. In other moments, the track curls up and takes a nap however, so when action isn’t there, neither is the audio. But dialogue sounds passable and the music is fine, so that’s covered. This disc also includes Spanish and French language tracks, as well as subtitles in English and Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
An extended version is included, but why would anyone want more of this drivel? Renny Harlin provides his audio comments, while writer Daniel Kunka and star John Cena are in a second session. No one will comment on the film’s actual worth, but there’s plenty of back patting and self congratulations. This disc also includes two alternate end sequences, a brief featurette, and a gag reel.