12 Rounds

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(2008) ★★

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Trading in the uniform action of The Marine for the knockabout life of a New Orleans homicide cop, onetime pro wrestler John Cena barks staccato lines in a kidnap puzzle picture staged – just for a change – like a video game. “Don’t be a cowboy!” shouts partner Brian White. “Wait for back up!” Like that’s going to happen when Cena has his sights on the FBI’s most wanted – Aidan Gillen, an Irish dude so bad he decapitated his own brother for blowing a deal in Tangiers. Drugs? Guns? Both probably, but no matter. Cocky criminal genius Gillen indulges in game-playing so insanely elaborate, it makes Gerard Butler’s Law Abiding Citizen seem like Forrest Gump. Chaotic but pacy, the film’s far less credible than the two movies it most resembles, Speed and Metro. By the way, that obnoxious FBI guy isn’t El-Hadji Diouf. He’s Steve Harris, an actor who bears an uncanny resemblance to the widely popular former Liverpool and Bolton footballer.

Certificate: 12
Duration: 107min