NEtFlix Review #22: 12 Rounds

Be careful who you steal from. If this isn't one of the primary rules of scriptwriting, it should be. All screenwriters steal, to one degree or another, because they've all been inspired by other films. This is inevitable. However, how you steal, and from whom you steal, is extremely important. For instance, if you're, say, making an action film starring a charmingly wooden professional wrestler as its lead, you may certainly want to look at movies like Die Hard and Speed to get some ideas about what you're going to do. You do not, however, want to lift things directly from those movies, as those movies are classics in the genre that people like me have seen far, far too many times. If your movie is all dressed up like Die Hard, but doesn't have John McClane battling against Hans Gruber, all your going to do is make me annoyed that I'm not actually watching Die Hard.

I know there's only so many ways you can blow things up or make a chase scene or have a villain toy with a hero, but this is honestly bordering on plagiarism. It's Die Hard, Die Hard 3 and Speed in a blender. I can quote all three of those films, they are archetypes, they are the gold standard. You crib from them, I'm going to notice.

Which is all a shame, because I find John Cena, although certainly a wrestler more than an actor, a charming screen presence. Aidan Gillen continues the streak of alums from The Wire finding nothing worth their talents after the show. Even Renny Harlin has done much better work. It feels like The Marine made some decent money, so they threw something together. Everything seems lackadasical and shrugginly assembled. The action scenes don't pop, the threatsdon't feel terribly urgent and the hero doesn't seem to ever be too overwhelmed or outgunned. It's paint-by-numbers action filmmaking.

There's really not much to say because the movie brings nothing to the table. The major point of enjoyment is hearing John Cena's voice crack as he tries to portray "distress" by yelling a lot while driving a fire truck.

I remember being curious to see The Marine, as I do like John Cena, but also it has Robert Patrick as the bad guy, and perhaps one of the things that might have really boosted this film would have been a decent threat. The only moment Gillen actually gets a personality is a hilariously tacked on bit where he butts into a chess game to show that he is nefarious AND clever! Stratgery! Patrick has always been great at chewing scenery and throwing some fun into anything he shows up in. Anyone seen both movies? Anyone attest to a variance in quality? I'm mildly curious!

Regardless, here's my wacky movie reviewer quip to polish us off: 12 Rounds? One was enough for me, thanks!


I'm a genius.

Jake Thomas

Story Writer. Marvel Comics Editor. Wrangler of Squids.