12 Rounds review

12 challenges for a cop to save his girlfriend in this full-on action feast

Veteran building-exploder Renny Harlin has been on a single-minded mission these last couple of decades to obliterate subtlety from modern cinema. Cliffhanger, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Deep Blue Sea, The Covenant… and now 12 Rounds, chiming loud and proud with his brain-battering oeuvre.

Thicknecked wrestler John Cena is New Orleans ’tec Danny Fisher, an all-American lunkhead snared in a weird web of high-stakes intrigue by nebulous bad guy Miles Jackson (Aidan Gillen, totally over the top), your average evil-genius-with-a-grudge who kidnaps Fisher’s adorable girlfriend Molly (Ashley Scott from TV’s Jericho) and runs him through a series of needlessly complicated and often combustible puzzles to save her.

Fun, witless and pretension-free, 12 Rounds is Die Hard meets Saw meets WWE: pure chest-thumping testosterone cinema, edited like a jackhammer and delivered at thrash-punk velocity. You’ll be picking shrapnel out of your eyeballs for a week.

Ken McIntyre

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