12 Rounds (12A)

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The Independent Culture

Pity New Orleans. No sooner have they cleared up after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina than a Renny Harlin action thriller blows into town and trashes the place all over again.

One-time wrestler John Cena plays a city cop who manages to bring down an international terrorist (Aiden Gillen). When the latter busts out of jail a year later he kidnaps Cena's girlfriend (Ashley Scott) and involves the cop in a deadly game of dares – defusing bombs, rescuing runaway trams etc. Two questions nag away: How did the crim find the time to set up such an elaborate ordeal? And why did he bother, when he could just kill him? Cena has neither the ease nor the appeal of Dwayne Johnson – the one true Rock – and the film's steroidal pastiche of 1990s thrillers (Speed and Die Hard with a Vengeance) is faintly embarrassing.