12 Rounds (film)

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12 Rounds
Directed by Renny Harlin
Produced by Becki Cross Trujillo
Mark Gordon
Renny Harlin
Mike Lake
Josh McLaughlin
Vince McMahon
Written by Daniel Kunka
Starring John Cena
Aidan Gillen
Steve Harris
Ashley Scott
Brian J. White
Taylor Cole
Vincent Flood
Steve Harris
Gonzalo Menendez
Travis Davis
Billy Slaughter
Music by Trevor Rabin
Cinematography David Boyd
Edited by Brian Berdan
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • March 19, 2009 (2009-03-19) (Australia)
  • March 27, 2009 (2009-03-27) (United States)
Running time
109 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $22 million[1]
Box office $17,280,326[2]

12 Rounds is a 2009 American action film directed by Renny Harlin[3] and produced by WWE Studios.[4] The cast is led by John Cena,[5] alongside Aidan Gillen, Steve Harris, Gonzalo Menendez, Brian J. White, Ashley Scott, and Taylor Cole.[6] The film was released on March 27, 2009 in United States theaters.[4]


A sting operation to capture notorious arms dealer Miles Jackson (Aidan Gillen) goes awry when the FBI's inside man double crosses them. Miles rendezvouses with his girlfriend Erica Kessen (Taylor Cole) who has a getaway car. Officer Danny Fisher (John Cena) and his partner, Officer Hank Carver (Brian J. White), are dispatched to help the FBI. On their way, they look at Jackson's record and see a surveillance video of him dancing with Kessen. A sudden encounter with them when they spot her at a traffic light leads to her death and Miles being taken away. Miles swears vengeance on Fisher.

One year later, Danny Fisher gets a phone call from Miles Jackson, who has escaped from prison. Fisher runs outside the house looking for Jackson, and Fisher's car and house explode, throwing him to the ground. After he recovers, Jackson says he is launching a game of revenge called "12 Rounds". The house, the car, and Phil, the plumber who came to fix a pipe were "Round 1". Molly Porter (Ashley Scott), Fisher’s girlfriend is kidnapped by Jackson for "Round 2". For "Round 3", Fisher and Carver must follow a series of clues to locate the cell phone that Jackson calls, and for "Round 4" Fisher has to get to New Orleans Savings and Loan where a fire has broken out. He must extract two security deposit boxes within 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, Carver has a lead on the man who helped kidnap Molly Porter and volunteers to look into that while Fisher continues with the "game". FBI Special Agents George Aiken (Steve Harris) and Ray Santiago (Gonzalo Menendez) agree to work with them to get Porter back.

For "Round 5" one of the security boxes is a bomb and the other contains a clue to the next round. Fisher is able to discover and dispose of the bomb. The other box contains a room key for a hotel. The room is raided and found empty. For "Round 6", Fisher follows a series of clues to a bus where he finds Porter on board, wearing a bomb underneath her jacket. He is handcuffed to a bar and is given an envelope with a phone number as the clue to the next round. The Feds try to get Jackson but he escapes with Porter. When Fisher is freed, he tells the Feds about the bomb. Hank Carver shows up and tells Fisher he has located Jackson's henchman, Anthony Deluso (Travis Davis).

In "Round 7" Fisher has to find the correct cell phone number that disarms bombs placed in different locations. Jackson answers and tells him that his call disabled Streetcar 907's brakes. Fisher and Special Agent Santiago slam their car into the transformer, shutting off electricity for the whole neighborhood. They then run along the streetcar, clearing people out of the way until it can slow to a halt.

In a welding factory, a mine planted by Jackson explodes, killing Carver and Deluso. Jackson calls and says that Porter's bomb can now only be disarmed by Fisher's fingerprint. He tells Fisher to pay a visit to Erica Kessen, so Fisher, Santiago, and Aiken get into a car and start for the cemetery. On the way to the cemetery, another detective, Chuck Jansen (Vincent Flood), calls Fisher to tell him that all five numbers in the envelope were rigged to the streetcar. Moreover, Jackson had cameras monitoring the elevator shaft and set off the bomb five seconds early. Fisher realizes that Willie's death in the elevator episode was orchestrated by Jackson and not just a chance casualty. Santiago does a check on Willie and finds he had a second job as a Homeland Security guard. They figure out that Jackson was leading them to take out the power because in such cases Homeland Security comes in to move the unprotected cash. Jackson's grudge against Fisher was only a cover for in his scheme to steal this money.

Aiken tells Santiago to lock down the Mint, while he and Fisher go after Porter. As they drive, Fisher realizes that "Round 12" must be a wild-goose chase, since Jackson needs Porter, a nurse, to help him escape. Meanwhile, Jackson, dressed as a security guard, manages to steal the cash. He then uses Porter's ID card to get to a Medevac chopper on a hospital roof, transporting the money inside a body bag. He tells Porter to pilot the chopper. Fisher and Aiken race to the hospital roof. In the fight that ensues, Aiken is wounded. Fisher activates the touch phone-bomb and throws the switch away, leaving 30 seconds until the chopper blows. Porter and Fisher jump out to a terrace pool, while Jackson is left in the exploding helicopter.


John Cena filming on the set of 12 Rounds.


The score of 12 Rounds was composed by Trevor Rabin, who had previously worked with director Renny Harlin on Deep Blue Sea and Exorcist: The Beginning. He recorded his score with the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Bros. Studios.[7]


Box office[edit]

The filmed opened at number seven at the box office, gaining an estimate of $1.75 million in its opening day and $5.3 million in its opening weekend. A further $2,498,325 in other countries helped take its worldwide total to $17,280,326.

Critical response[edit]

12 Rounds has received mostly negative reviews from critics. Some critics have noted the film's similarities to the 1995 movie Die Hard with a Vengeance.[8] The film ranking website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 29% of critics had given the film positive reviews, based upon a sample of 69.[9] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 38, based on 13 reviews.[10]

Home media and unrated version[edit]

12 Rounds was released on DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and UMD with an unrated "Extreme Cut" of the film on June 30, 2009.[11] In the first week, 12 Rounds opened at #1 at the DVD sales chart, selling 208,936 DVD units translating to revenue of $3.1m.[12] As of July 2011, 581,834 DVD units have been sold, bringing in $8,884,292 in revenue. This does not include Blu-ray Disc sales/DVD rentals.

The DVD is a one-disc set that includes:[citation needed]

  • Rated and extended "Extreme Cut" of the film
  • Commentary by Director Renny Harlin, Writer Daniel Kunka and John Cena
  • Two alternate endings
  • "Crash Course: John Cena Stunts" featurette
  • "Never-before-seen Cena gag reel" featurette



Randy Orton stars in a stand-alone sequel titled 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded.[13] The sequel was released in 2013. It was announced in 2014 that Dean Ambrose was going to star in the third film in the franchise called 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown.[14]


  1. ^ "Renny Harlin Goes 12 Rounds with John Cena". Comingsoon.net. Archived from the original on 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  2. ^ "12 Rounds (2009)". The Numbers. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  3. ^ "HSX Prediction Market: MovieStocks: 12 Rounds". Hollywood Stock Exchange. Archived from the original on 13 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-11. 
  4. ^ a b Carrow-Jackson, Roberta (2007-12-07). "State Film Office announces 2007 statistics". NOLA.com. Archived from the original on 28 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-11. 
  5. ^ "Current Projects". Coulon Casting. December 24, 2007. Archived from the original on 22 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-11. 
  6. ^ Siegel, Tatiana; Marc Graser (2008-02-14). "WWE, Fox Atomic go for '12 Rounds'". Variety. Archived from the original on 16 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  7. ^ Goldwasser, Dan (2008-12-01). "Trevor Rabin scores 12 Rounds". ScoringSessions.com. Archived from the original on 20 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  8. ^ IGN:com – 12 Rounds Review"Take one part Blown Away, one part Speed, a whole lot of Die Hard with a Vengeance and – presto! – you have a patchwork of every '90s action movie formulaic plot element in one film."
  9. ^ "12 Rounds – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  10. ^ "12 Rounds (2009): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Archived from the original on 27 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  11. ^ "Blu-ray.com – 12 Rounds Blu-ray: Extreme Cut". blu-ray.com. Archived from the original on 2009-05-20. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  12. ^ "Movie 12 Rounds - DVD Sales". The Numbers. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  13. ^ "WWE Studios and Fox go "12 Rounds" with Randy Orton and Roel Reiné". WWE.com. 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  14. ^ http://whatculture.com/wwe/wwe-movie-news-dean-ambrose-in-12-rounds-3-on-sept-11.php

External links[edit]