Movie Review: 12 Rounds (2009) starring John Cena

Movie link on IMDB

This is not a deep film. I like John Cena’s acting roles and some of the WWE films for the textured characters with heart. (Did you know John Cena granted 500 wishes, the most wishes for the Make a Wish Foundation, in 2015?)


pipes configured in a heart shape with two red monkey wrenches criiss-crossed in the middle
The love interest was a plumbing, helicopter -flying nurse. Image by chiplanay on Pixabay

A police officer (Cena) catches a terrorist whose girlfriend dies during the bust. The villain escapes from jail and kidnaps Cena’s girlfriend to psychologically torture and force him to do a series of 12 things.

A capable woman

Sorry, there were no layered male characters. However, the girlfriend, played by pretty Ashley Scott, was interesting. Early in the movie this nurse spends hours trying to fix a leaking bathroom sink instead of waking her boyfriend, the cop, who is sleeping in after a late night shift. Later, she pilots a helicopter. What an unusual nurse! I’m guessing military background but it didn’t come up.

Artistic stylized Rose the Rivetter icon from World War II
Image provided by Clcker-Free-Vector-images on Pixabay

Nobody bats an eye at her mad skills except the plumber who suggests to her boyfriend, “It’s the ones who get under the sink that are keepers.”

Two impressive things:

1) The girlfriend role was written as unusually capable in a movie starring a big, muscley sports entertainer.

2) Her skills and character were not written with a lot of hooha, like Michelle Rodriguez’s bad-ass characters.

Her own man

This is the key to women’s equality: a woman doesn’t need constant recognition and applause to be her “own man.” If you make a big deal out of her every accomplishment that’s not expecting greatness; it’s the opposite. It’s being surprised that a woman can do things.

It’s not equity – freedom from bias or favoritism – if women receive applause every time they lift a wrench, lead a team, or start a business. Anyone who does these things well is better than someone who chooses mediocrity and mental malaise.

When we can watch a woman in a movie fix the sink, use a gun, and fly a helicopter without really noticing, that’s equality.

It is unrealistic and nonsensical to demand equality while:

  • Obsessing over shoes, make-up, and fat
  • Working in female-dominated fields like teaching and childcare
  • Avoiding male-dominated work like auto mechanic, electrician, and programmer
  • Reacting first and thinking second
    Different ice cream flavors arrayed
Image by JESHOOTS-com on Pixabay

Equality is not a banner you wave around while neck-deep in every single stereotypical female behavior. Equality is a lifestyle of choices.

Watch 12 Rounds for a decent, not stupid action movie.

Your turn

Seen any capable woman films lately?

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