12 Rounds director Renny Harlin helmed the second Die Hard movie, but this film is really a carbon copy of that franchise’s third entry — 1995’s Die Hard With a Vengeance — in which Bruce Willis’ cop raced around New York attempting to complete an array of tests set up by vengeance-seeking villain Jeremy Irons. Here the cop is real-life wrestler John Cena, who must race around New Orleans attempting to complete an array of tests set up by a vengeance-seeking villain played by Aidan Gillen (The Wire). Alas, Gillen is no Jeremy Irons. And Cena is certainly no Bruce Wills. He looks and acts like a Bizarro World Matt Damon who has spent more time picking up weights than scripts. The production must be given credit for filming in the still-recovering-from Katrina New Orleans and Harlin makes good use of both the architecture of the city and of his formidably muscled leading man. But you will probably find yourself praying for this duel’s knock-out punch to arrive long before it actually does. C
Genre: Action/Adventure; Starring: John Cena, Ashley Scott, Aidan Gillen, Brian J. White; Director: Renny Harlin; Author: Daniel Kunka; Release Date Wide: 03/27/2009; Runtime (in minutes): 108; MPAA Rating: PG-13; Distributor: Fox Atomic
Posted March 25 2009 — 12:00 AM EDT
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