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Film / 12 Rounds

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"Officer Fisher. I'll remember you."
Miles Jackson

12 Rounds is a 2009 action film directed by Renny Harlin, starring John Cena and Aidan Gillen.

By chance, police officer Danny Fisher (Cena) manages to capture the famous criminal Arms Dealer Miles Jackson (Gillen) after an FBI operation goes wrong. Unfortunately, Miles' girlfriend Erica (Taylor Cole) dies during the arrest, and he swears revenge.

One year later, Danny, now a detective, is contacted by Miles, who kidnaps his girlfriend Molly (Ashley Scott) and forces him into a series of tough tasks across New Orleans in order to save her.

Has two sequels: 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded (2013) and 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown (2015), starring Randy Orton and Dean Ambrose, respectively.

This film has examples of:

  • Batman Gambit: Jackson stages an elaborate revenge scheme to divert attention from his real goal of stealing cash from a bank.
  • Big Bad: Miles Jackson, a usually secretive criminal who stages an elaborate revenge plan on Danny.
  • Bringing Running Shoes to a Car Chase: During the prologue, Danny happens to spot wanted criminal Miles Fisher and has to chase after him on foot when Miles drives off. By simply cutting through houses and backyards he is able to cross the path of Miles' speeding car several times (implying that Miles is doubling back on himself for some reason). Danny is eventually able to get ahead of the car and drop a boat across its path.
  • Chekhov's Armoury: From the opening and everything afterwards, there are shots of the various places that Danny goes to throughout the 12 Rounds.
  • Complexity Addiction: On the way to the 12th and final round, Danny doubts anything will be as simple as he's told given that Miles has had all day to get his revenge on him and Molly. There's no obvious reason to do the first 11 rounds. When he finds out the game was rigged, he realizes it's all a Batman Gambit.
  • Contrived Coincidence: This is why Miles has such a chip on his shoulder with Danny. While at a red light, Danny spots the BMW next to the police cruiser is driven by Erica, who he just saw in a video sent to him and Hank are driving to help the FBI. Because of this, the Disaster Dominoes results in Miles arrested and Erica dead.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: Die Hard in New Orleans. Or to be more specific, Die Hard with a Vengeance in New Orleans.
  • Establishing Character Moment: On the way to the deal, Aiken reads Miles Jackson's worse crimes to the team while he stops to help a player win a losing game of chess in four turns, just for the hell of it. This shows his cruelty and his swagger.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Following the below mentioned Wham Line, Danny and his fellow officers begin to piece together details and realize what Miles' true goal was all along.
  • Flashed-Badge Hijack: Danny uses his badge to commandeer a car waiting at the ferry port in an attempt to beat the ferry to its destination.
  • High-Dive Escape: Danny and Molly jump from the damaged helicopter into a rooftop swimming pool: leaving Miles behind with the bomb he had just activated. BOOM!
  • I Have a Family: Upon finding out he's been roped into a death game, Willie admits this.
    Willie: I can't die, I've got a wife and kid.
  • I Have Your Wife: Miles kidnaps Danny's girlfriend Molly to force him to play his game. The only way to keep her safe is to do whatever Miles tells him to do. And the first task deals with a sibling?
  • Jitter Cam: This is the sort of film where the camera shakes around even when the focus is on people who are just talking to each other.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: The New Orleans Police and the FBI are having a hard time working together in both cases involving Miles Jackson. At first the cops thought the FBI gave them an unnecessary trouble, and the FBI want to do things themselves. A year later, the Police take the 12 Rounds very seriously due to Molly's kidnapping, and the FBI are willing to do shady things to get to Miles. Eventually Santiago has enough of his bosses shit and helps Danny his way.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Throughout the film, not often mind you, but Miles will call Danny "Officer Fisher," likely due to the fact Danny wouldn't have been a detective if it wasn't for him.
  • My Greatest Failure: Even a year later, and long before Miles comes back for revenge, Danny privately feels guilty about Erica's death.
    Danny: Just sayin'... A girl dies that night and we get promoted.
  • Off with His Head!: Jackson reputedly had his brother's head cut off after a deal he had part in went wrong.
  • Oh, Crap!: Santiago has one when he realizes what one of the buildings were evacuated due to the 12 rounds.
    Santiago: That's the goddamn Mint!
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Aiken makes it clear that Miles is a cypher, refusing to show himself unless absolutely necessary. The fact he's broadcasting to the New Orleans Police where he is has him very nervous.
  • Phone-Trace Race: After the sixth round, Miles calls Danny and the FBI try to trace the call. However, Miles is quite savvy to this, so he keeps hanging up and switching to a different phone every few minutes, frustrating the authorities.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: At the beginning Miles kills his contact who had set up the deal with FBI to get his brother Joshua back. He does this because he can tell that he was seriously considering the safety of his brother.
  • Short-Lived Aerial Escape: Miles tries to escape with his loot on a hospital helicopter. The helicopter in question explodes in mid air after a brutal mid-air fistfight, with Danny jumping into a conveniently present swimming pool with Molly just in time.
  • Shot in the Ass: Danny's partner Hank is unable to participate in the initial arrest of Jackson because he got shot in the ass and has to lie down while applying pressure the wound.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Miles interrupts a chess game between two random strangers playing by the street, and defeats the other player in four or so moves.
  • Soft Water: Two people fall out of a helicopter into a swimming pool and survive with no obvious injuries.
  • Spiteful Spit: Molly spits on Jackson when he removes the tape covering her mouth.
  • Strapped to a Bomb: To present the seventh round and have a face-to-face talk with Danny, Miles has Molly wear a bomb vest so he'll play nice.
  • Super Window Jump: Danny is forced to run through several abandoned buildings while chasing Miles and Erica, and has to jump thorugh a window while he's at it.
  • Taking You with Me: Wounded and trapped on a damaged helicopter that is out of control, Miles activates the timer on the explosive vest he had earlier had on Molly and then throws away the only means of deactivating it in an attempt to take Danny and Molly with him.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Molly kicks Miles before she and Danny jump out form the exploding helicopter.
    Molly: You land it... bitch!
  • Wham Line: On the way to the twelfth round, while wondering why Miles has been toying with him instead of taking his revenge, Danny hears one line that turns the whole plot on its ear.
    He blew the device early. You still had five seconds to save Willie.