With 12 Rounds, Speed producer Mark Gordon and Die Hard 2 director Renny Harlin demonstrate just how completely adrift they are from popular culture. A so-bad-it’s-faintly-amusing trawl through a rag-bag of action-movie cliches, Harlin’s film is immediately handicapped by giving the key role of detective Danny Fisher to WWE wrestler Jon Cena, a non-acting lunk-head alongside whom Sylvester Stallone looks like Sir Laurence Olivier. Trumping that in the mis-casting stakes, Fisher’s nemisis is Miles Jackson, an Irish explosive expert played with zero conviction and with one eye on his bank-balance by Queer As Folk’s Aiden Gillen.
Distraught over the death of his girlfriend, Jackson seeks revenge by kidnapping Fisher’s girlfriend Molly (Ashley Scott) and setting up improbable tasks for Fisher to perform by way of a rescue act. But whatever made hostage dramas so palatable twenty years ago is sorely lacking from Gordon and Harlin’s spectacular but dunderheaded production, which features Cena chasing a ferry in his sports car, bringing a runaway streetcar to a standstill with his bare hands and generally leaving a trail of destruction around New Orleans, a city which surely doesn’t deserve such a brainless pounding.
General release from Wed 27 May.