A no-nonsense action actor plays elaborate tricks on the broadcast.

via 20th Century Fox

Everyone has to start somewhere to get into the acting business, and for John Cena, his path to Hollywood stardom began with a couple of banal WWE-backed action movies. Three years after making his screen debut in The marinethe full-time professional wrestler got the bug again when 12 rounds it hit theaters in March 2009.

Directed by die hard 2, climactic momentY The long kiss goodnightRenny Harlin’s Renny Harlin, the low-budget genre film ironically drew most of its cues from Die hard with a vengeance in terms of plot. Cena’s New Orleans cop stops a criminal mastermind from pulling off his latest heist, which also results in the accidental death of his girlfriend.

12 rounds
via 20th Century Fox

Escaping from prison, Aidan Gillen’s hammy antagonist kidnaps the police officer’s fiancée for revenge, forcing him to undertake a series of tasks, puzzles, and challenges to save his life. He sounds silly, and he is, but the biggest mistake made by 12 rounds is that he takes himself so seriously.

As we’ve discovered in the years since, Cena is at his weakest when playing the square-jawed action hero, with Pacifier proving once and for all that he’s excellent when allowed to balance his comedic timing with the undoubted physicality that comes from being built like a brick shithole with Christmas hams instead of forearms.

However, that hasn’t stopped his sophomore bid for lead actor status from doing a number on the streaming charts, with 12 rounds having become one of the most viewed titles on iTunes so far this week, according to FlixPatrol.

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