The Condemned (2007) Poster

(2007)

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7/10
Surprisingly decent
fatmaninatrenchcoat8 August 2007
So this flick was by no means great, but it did what it wanted to do, be a good bad action flick. Swearing, blood, fighting, no CGI, I had a great time watching it. Which really surprised me cause I HATE stone cold, but even he was pretty good. If you just wanna turn off your brain and watch a well done bad action flick, check this out. And yes I have seen battle royale and the running man, and yes this rips them both off fairly liberally, but what the hell, an action flick is an action flick, enjoy it for what it is. And Vinnie Jones is great as the super evil bad guy. And it even has some social commentary about the media's influence on our culture. Granted, its heavy handed and obvious, but seeing as I was expecting a movie on par with a Segal straight to DVD flick, any level of intelligence is appreciated.
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8/10
Not nearly as bad as a lot of you are making it out to be.
js_ravinstorm6 October 2007
Honestly, I really enjoyed this film. It reminded me of the good old days of action films such as Commando, Demolition Man, etc. Anyone who can endure/enjoy Stallone or Arnold in action movies certainly shouldn't have a problem with Steve Austin's acting.

I think this film just gets a bad rap from critics because WWE is associated with it and no one wants to be the guy that gives them a break. It certainly won't win an Oscar, but if you enjoy action films then I'd definitely give this a chance. Just try & forget WWE is associated with it, let it stand on it's own two feet and judge it for yourself with an open mind.
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7/10
Good afternoon action movie
downundermoviegal7 October 2007
Hey, this is not going to test the gray matter but if you want an entertaining albeit violent movie to fill in a few hours this is not a bad choice. The plot is predictable but the main saving grace is Steve Austin as Jack Conrad as he comes across as a compassionate and somewhat likable hero who ended up in this predicament by trying to do the right thing for his country. He does not exactly have to stretch his acting muscle but you do end up hoping he will win through. Although much of the violence is not right in your face in parts it does carry on that bit long although this is used to separate the "no morals, no borders" team from the good guys within the production cast. This movie serves up exactly what it promises but is still an entertaining movie. I would recommend to a friend.
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6/10
A Nutshell Review: The Condemned
DICK STEEL21 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
At first glance, the storyline looks like a distant cousin to the Japanese movie Battle Royale. Instead of having sent unruly students to an island and see them finish off one another, The Condemned follows the same lines of having 10 death row prisoners from around the world being brought to an island, and given a simple rule to kill everyone else in order to earn their survival, and freedom. They are similarly rigged with an explosive device which if tampered, or if they choose not to participate, they too will be blown to bits.

But there's where the similarity stops. There's no PA system to tell the scattered involuntary participants just how many survivors there are (thus leading to a loophole), and there are multiple camera rigs installed on the island, for the purpose of entertainment. The Condemned plays on some of our intrinsic nature of wanting to watch gladiatorial styled violence, and given that such content will probably never get on the TV networks, the fairly sci-fi turned reality TV over IP concept gets its airtime here. What networks refuse to screen and produce, you can, given the right equipment and personnel, and plenty of computing power.

Pay-per-view IPTV using credit cards is the road to riches for the game producer Ian Breckel (Robert Mammone), who champions the thought of producing content that audiences around the world want to watch. His argument was that these handpicked participants are going to die anyway, and here, he's giving one of them the chance to live, a noble gesture to him. The Condemned mocks today's reality TV format, in that sometimes, the game can be manipulated to satisfy the producers' objectives, and we see that in abundance here.

Violence it seems is high on the agenda here - how much can an audience stomach, especially if say hypothetically, Big Brother type of series allow violence to be met out live, unedited and raw. Or are you going to play to those who pay, and give in to the demand? There's a constant argument being played out early in the movie about dignity and decency, but that gets forgotten fairly easily in a film like this one, falling victim to its own preachy statements.

Especially so when Sports Entertainment companies like WWE are involved in this one. WWE had its fair share of stars lending their "acting talent" to Hollywood, and I can go as far back as the late Andre the Giant lending his physical presence in The Princess Bride. Then you have Hulk Hogan in various forgettable flicks, The Rock in some charismatic roles (though some are as cheesy as that in Be Cool), and Kane in the horrid See No Evil. Here, Stone Cold Steve Austin plays the lead role of Jack Conrad, an inmate with an unspecified past, who becomes someone more than anyone had bargained for.

But the star unfortunately is not Austin, as much as he plays the anti-hero. Vinny Jones, as British prisoner Ewan McStarley, clearly stole his thunder, and injected more personality into his maniacal character. While the format of the game had the prisoners from different parts of the world to allow everyone a chance to root for their home players, it was at times ironic that USA had to battle UK so prominently in the movie, and that the "with me or against me" line just brings to mind the many scenarios as played out ever so often. It's ra-ra for the USA in an in-your-face fashion, with eye-for-an-eye violence dished out for avenging the weak and wounded, and the showing of compassion to those who needs it.

The make up of the team of pla yers too is interesting on purpose, with female players up against male ones (and what happens is such an easy guess), and Survivor styled formation of alliances, outwitting, outlasting, outplaying all being key to survival, but the story, with so many characters, dictate that you cannot go beyond what is superficially shown. Of course the leads got a little more background to show for, but you find that these happen to be just cosmetics, unnecessarily inflating the screening duration.

The Condemned tried to be a little deep, but ended up tossing its attempts aside to settle for an all out action movie towards the end, and what I thought was bordering on the ridiculous at Austin's ability. For action junkies, the sequences here might be a little repetitive with its usual big explosions, and the extreme closeups of violence using the shaky hand-held camera technique just irritates. If the premise still excites you after all the mentioned flaws, then The Condemned managed to appeal to you with its in-movie concept - I think you'll pay US $49.95 should there be a channel like this on the internet.
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6/10
Battle Royale Redux
Mark-12929 April 2007
A very popular Japanese film called Battle Royale concerns an entire class of bad tempered middle school students forced to fight to the last survivor on a deserted island for their transgressions. Considered too controversial for American audiences, it's never been released in the states. "The Condemned" is basically a remake of that film. Instead of unruly teenagers, death-row inmates from around the world forced to kill each other for the pleasure of an insane internet magnate's 30 hour snuff reality program.

Steve Austin joins 9 other on the island where they stalk and eliminate each other in some of the most violent ways imaginable.

This part of the story is fairly involving, but as the violence becomes more sadistic, it no longer seems entertaining. The sobering effect spreads to the movie characters as well, too late to help the combatants. Self righteously, the producers use this as a podium to speak down to the audience who bought tickets to watch the very entertainment they are presenting.

The movie is not helped by a stateside subplot involving Stone Cold's girlfriend who lives on a sprawling ranch and supports herself as a waitress.
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8/10
The best WWE movie up to date
John Habib23 November 2008
We were really surprised when me & my friends watched this movie; it was really the best WWE movie ever, taking into consideration that we all don't enjoy wrestling, but we gave it a try, as it was thought to be as "Battle Royal", not a wrestling movie, & in fact, it surprised us all. All the acting was excellent, especially Steve Austin & Vinnie Jones, & surprisingly sometimes emotional acting was there even from the male characters!! The plot was so simple but extremely good (for a WWE movie!), also the shooting was very fine. I recommend you watch this movie, especially with a group of friends, you will be very surprised & will have a lot of fun !
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6/10
Not bad , could of been better.
shadowman12324 September 2007
One has to bear in mind that The Condemend is wwe production so don't go expecting some massive work of art with lots drama, action and a deep plot that will make you think- NO! Since it is a WWE production with wrestlers that have belonged to that company it has them doing what they do best in their specialised field of entertainment. The plot in nothing too out of this world if you have seen Battle Royale then you shall understand the point but it is by no means a great movie like Battle Royale so be warned. However having said that it has got all the ingredients in it to keep fans of the action genre connected and the story just picks up and moves on at a good pace with action to keep you hooked in. Steve Austin was good giving what he had to work with although to be honest it did not really need any effort as this role is a mirror image of his tough guy persona in WWE , however it was funny watching try to play the silent tough guy who grunts quiet a bit! But the star of the show in my opinion was the proper English hard-man Vinnie Jones , he was entertaining! The action was great along with the over the top theatrics which we see in the WWE . My complaints were that it drag on a little longer than it should of done I mean it was filled up in a few dull moments between fight scenes which were not needed and a few parts which tried to show that the characters had depth - that was just silly. To conclude , The condemned is not nearly as bad as people are making out to be, its merely a time pass and it should not be compared to anything bigger or deeper like Battle Royale however if you would like to see it then make sure it is on one of your boring Monday nights. Fans of the action genre and WWE will be left feeling satisfied to a meek extent as it is not that bad but could of been better.

THE CONDEMNED : 6.7 OUT 10

THE FIGHT IS ON .
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6/10
Decent action movie
BroadswordCallinDannyBoy22 September 2008
The concept is simple: 10 vicious felons are put onto an empty island and told that the last one standing after 30 hours will go free. To make their efforts to kill each other, weapons have been stashed in various places around the island. To make the effort pay itself off, the organizer of this event is airing it over the internet where viewers can subscribe and watch the mayhem. Naturally one of these felons is actually a good guy who's wrongly in prison.

As a setup for a testosterone packed action film it is hard to argue that it's bad since it does pretty much what it sets out to do. The whole subplot of violence as entertainment is also interesting enough. Naturally both of these things have been tackled on film before and in better form than this, but this by no means makes the film bomb by trying to out run itself and be too smart. Where the film does mess up is with another subplot involving the hero trying to get back to his wife. You see, he was a government agent and went to prison to keep his cover as a "badguy" and this kept him out of contact with his wife. Not only is this the most clich├ęd part of the film, it is the least interesting and the least relevant to the message that the main part of the film sets up. Sure, there needs to be some audience sympathy for the protagonist in a film like this, but it shouldn't interfere with the rest of the movie.

Another thing is the shaky cam, as it has come to be called. Is this some sort of budget cutting device? The production doesn't use dollies and camera rigs any more to cut down costs? The fight scenes here are pretty good, and they should be in an action film, but with such messy camera work they are not shown very well. Some films manage to have good shaky cam scenes as they give it a certain edge, but many films either get the rhythm wrong or go to far and it doesn't look as good as it could have looked. --- 6/10

BsCDb Classification: 13+ --- violence, profanity
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4/10
Not the worst movie I've ever seen
Sally O'Malley2 May 2007
Some of the other comments are way too harsh. This movie isn't trying to be the next Fletch Lives. Don't take this movie too seriously and it's mildly entertaining. The fight scenes are too choppy and tough to see and the plot is predictable, but Steve Austin is good. He has the same deadpan expression and delivery throughout and it works. The rest of the cast pretty much phones it in. A lot of these actors look familiar. Like you have seen them before, but you can't quite place them. If you like WWF, then you will probably be satisfied. I saw an afternoon show with about 15 other people and only a couple were asleep at the end. Better than Marie Antoinette.
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10/10
The deadliest game times ten.
bluesman-2010 March 2012
The Condemned is one of those movies that you know right off the bat is made for one specific type of audience. If you like reading Jane Austin novels and sunsets and walks along the beach and romantic movies then this movie may not be for you. This is all out balls to the wall action movie that does not apologize for what it is. Premise is a reality series producer is putting together the ultimate survivor series on the internet. He picks ten people from the worst prisons around the world and buys them from death row and attaches a bomb to their ankles. The Bomb will go off in 24 hours the catch is simple only one can win. It's a fight to the death the prize is you get your life your freedom and a big bankroll. Trapped amongst the sadistic killers is Jack Conrad (Steve Austin) a former Navy S.E.A.L. who was recruited to do black ops types of jobs his last one went bad and he was caught in El Salvador awaiting death. All Conrad wants to do is get out of this alive and go home to his girl. But Conrad is decent man with Honor and a code of principles that will not let him take part in this sadistic game so he tries his best to survive and get help. Steve Austin does a good job in his first film As lead actor and he's gone on to make better films since his role in the EXPENDABLES is much better and you can see Austin has grown as a actor, This movie is worth checking out if you are a fan of this type of action flick. Better then Van Damme's hard target and Rutger Hauer's The game, This movie does deliver good entertainment.
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4/10
The Condemned manages to keep you entertained but fails to keep you interested
Mike Murphy28 April 2007
"The Condemned" has a very straightforward plot. It tells the story of John Conrad (Stone Cold Steve Austin) who is purchased from a Central American prison. The buyer is a TV producer named Ian Breckel who has purchased 9 others just like Conrad; mass murders who are awaiting death penalties in their respective prisons. Breckel has the idea to transport these 10 "contestants" to an island near New Guinea where they will fight to the death, the last remaining person after 30 hours will be set free. But there are catches, all contestants have an ankle brace that carries multiple C4 bombs that will explode if the tag is pulled out or if the 30 hour time limit is up and not 9 other contestants are dead.

That might sound entertaining, and it is. The film is filled with brutal violence that you can't feel guilty about. Another positive is that it doesn't try to become smart, it stays at it's level and never drifts away from it's unoriginal plot. The last positive is, surprisingly,Steve Austin is not half bad as the star. Despite being a wrestler with no movie talent, he says as much dialogue as Clint Eastwood in "Dirty Harry" and the majority of his time on screen is him fighting other opponents. I can also say he is much better than John Cena in "The Marine." Unfortunately, there are undeniable negatives. Including the entertaining violence getting uncontrollably repetitive, the abrupt ending, and the everything that happens outside of the violence. Whenever the film cuts to the audience or the people running the show, the film slows down. (That is the perfect time to go to the bathroom).

If you were going to see this film, wait till DVD. It may look interesting, but it's not. It just keeps rambling on with violence and gore and the film never goes higher than an ATTEMPT to make a decent film. When the film begins, the WWE films logo comes up and that right there brings it down a few notches, and the negative elements don't help it's cause.

6/10
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3/10
Complete waste of time and money
splotchcat29 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I just went to see this movie and was very disappointed that I spent money on it. The movie is very predictable. The acting, what acting? Steve Austin, needs to stick to wrestling. The other characters were almost blank sheets. The only other ones they even tried to develop were the producer and his main assistant. The cinematography is very lacking, they could have used steady-cams in a few places. The violence is extreme and repetitive.

Spoiler Warning: After All how many different ways can you come up with to kill people with an anklet bracelet bomb. I could see how the movie was going to end almost before it started. Please do not see this movie in the theater. I would not even bother with the DVD.
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6/10
Surprising actually
RoninDeVamas29 September 2007
This is my first review after over a year of not writing reviews, but it feels good to be back.

Now on to "The Condemned":

I had low expectations for this movie, mainly because it was advertised as a purely action genre. The plot of televising people fighting one another for survival has been used before, and usually end up the same way.

This film wasn't so different from that formula, but it surprised me the emotion that pervaded the film. It was rough and unrelenting, and I actually felt anxious during certain scenes.

Stone Cold Steve Austin was actually impressive in this film. Although it wasn't Oscar-worthy material, he showed a surprising ability to convey a caring, yet sarcastic humanity behind his character. Austin didn't make this movie entirely, though, as several of the supporting characters also gave an impression of depression and intensity -- intensity of which must be given to Vinnie Jones.

The conclusion of the film is, surprisingly, also fulfilling. It is really intense and brings out just how faulty and violence-oriented we as human beings really are.

Although it didn't possess the deeply involving storyline and deep character relationships and development that I usually look for in a good movie, I find "The Condemned" to be a rather enjoyable and provoking film.

Rating: ** out of five

New Dinoman214 rating system:

***** - Absolutely Must-See

**** - Great

*** - Good

** - Fair

* - Poor

  • Do not see for the sake of your sanity and savings account
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4/10
The Condemned
Scarecrow-8823 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
American Variation on Battle Royale except in this film those put on the island, squared off against each other, with bomb locks around their ankles, are adults(..mostly those with a criminal past awaiting Death Row). Stone Cold Steve Austin is a black ops federal special forces agent, Jack Conrad, who was infiltrating a drug cartel when he was caught and imprisoned in a Central American jail, bought and placed into the death tournament on a reality internet game. Vinnie Jones is a psychotic former special ops guy himself, McStarley, his was for the British government. The collar bombs have a trigger device that will go off if another competitor presses the button. Those handpicked to compete represent various countries, and only one can survive with the prize being their freedom. The corrupt mastermind behind the whole operation is Breckel(Robert Mammone), who looks like a self-absorbed Harvard grad with an insatiable desire to exploit a selected few to reap millions from those craving real violence..he wishes to "put on a good show" by manipulating his audience establishing heroes, villains, and the weak victims who are unable to outlast the stronger, more savage foes. We watch as the "condemned" fight for survival, trying to outwit each other, as weapons are parachuted to McStarley, and his temporary Japanese partner Saiga(Masa Yamaguchi)purposely by Breckel so that they can gain an advantage as a strategy to make his show more thought-provoking and gripping. What Breckel doesn't expect is how intelligent, resourceful and cunning Conrad is, and how he'll set his sights on getting even with ones responsible for placing him in this difficult, dangerous situation. Breckel underestimates Conrad and an even bigger problem develops as his base camp operation is not too far from the action. Also a sub-plot is those searching for Conrad's whereabouts and attempting to pinpoint where Breckel's operation is located.

Those expecting a bloody good time will be sorely disappointed as the frenetic camera work disrupts any kind of thrill the premise might produce. You see a blizzard of blows flash by as the high octane editing process and constantly moving camera remove any possibility of seeing two competitors exchanging real blows in a proper fashion. Stone Cold Steve Austin is a credible enough hero and Vinnie Jones is as unhinged a psycho as ever before, but they are undermined by sloppily staged action sequences which will likely give the intended audience a headache or the desperate craving for Dramamine by the time it's over. There's plenty of hand-to-hand combat sequences which could really hum if the director and cinematographer could keep their damn camera still long enough for us to enjoy it. Perhaps the filmmakers didn't have enough faith in their leads to provide realistic combat, but it's a shame that, burdened by the rather thin story-line, it can not deliver on what it's supposed to. Impressive setting with the jungle and dangerous rocks leading to rushing water as Breckel has cameras spread throughout capturing the action as it unfolds(..also having men camouflaged filming some action live on the scene). An ongoing story-line has Breckel dealing with the animosity of members of his staff who are finding it hard to deal with the violence that is transpiring. Within the screenplay is an indictment on reality television and the desire for viewing real, live bloodshed. Practically everyone's dead by the end of this film.
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4/10
Worth a rent!
slothmister10 May 2007
My first post so forgive me if I mess it up!

I saw this film last weekend and in my opinion it is worth seeing as a rental, not worth buying or paying the extra for the cinema tickets.

The only really good thing about the film is Austin getting beat up by Vinne Jones (a true hard man! Just watch any of his Wimbeldon FC football games!).

Other than that, it is quite predictable, there are a few surprises, but you see 9/10 things coming a mile away!

Rent it, purely for the Vinnie Vs Austin scene's.

Oh, for the wrestling fans wondering if Austin can "make" a film just like he used to "make" matches, he can not! The film is bad but not terrible!
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1/10
There is no reason to see this movie...
KissMyBoomstick66628 April 2007
This movie started out with a few interesting scenes, and then shot through the floor and buried itself in horrible film-making. The fights are all shot close up and shaky, along with obvious punch pulling and uninventive deaths. Very quickly the numbers drop and you find yourself having to go back and count to even notice how many are left. The dialogue is terrible, with a message about violence hidden in it like an elephant behind a hot-wheels car. Its an unoriginal story, and its got so many plot holes I can't even pretend they get answered. It's going to disappoint even Stone Cold fans, because he could have torn people up so much better, and it will disappoint regular movie goers with its sub-par story, and worse storytelling. This movie is not what you are expecting it to be, and I strongly urge you not to spend your money on it when that same money would be better spent buying a stun gun and buzzing your head for an hour and a half.
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6/10
good....
Rsharath-56-85967619 April 2012
This was my movie after i watched the movie "The Tournament"..

Though the concept seems to be relative, condemned has a whole new prospect of story...

The idea of dropping the criminals in the island and make them to fight for their lives has worked out wonderfully....

The acting of Steve is not bad and in my opinion he would have done better...

The action scenes are well carried out throughout the movie and action lovers will love it for sure...

Overall, a good movie worth a watch.... :)
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7/10
An all round enjoyable action film
yogll31 March 2012
Simply put - if you like action films you'll enjoy The Condemned.

Following along similar lines of Battle Royal and the newly released The Hunger Games, a group of international death row inmates are sent to an island to fight to the death in order to win their freedom - with the whole thing broadcast live on the internet.

As highly unbelievable as this situation may seem, the moral repercussion are actually adequately addressed. The illegal show gains a mass following but not without attracting the attention of certain international agencies.

I'm not a huge fan of Steve Austin or WWE wrestling and so at first I was a bit sceptical about a WWE production with the lead role being given to a pro wrestler. But despite this he performs his role well, and the acting is of a pretty good standard throughout. The fight scenes are gritty and believable, and the sub-plot back story doesn't interfere too much with the action.

This is switch-your-brain-off entertainment. Enjoy it for what is is. 7/10
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3/10
The Condemned is the audience
XFLRWF1 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
It is natural to expect that a product of WWE Films would be hard-hitting and action packed. But when the audience cannot properly see and enjoy the action, the end result is disappointing. WWE Film's latest production, "The Condemned", offers bountiful opportunities for action fans to satisfy their hunger. But due to the poor directorial work, it becomes a tease. Even the star power and fan following of the film's lead (former WWE wrestler Steve Austin) was not enough could not save this debacle. "The Condemned" is one big mess that leaves the audience wondering what was the crime they committed to deserve this sentence.

On a remote South Pacific island, television producer Ian Breckel (Robert Mammone) has bought 10 death row prisoners for his own deadly game of Survivor. The convicts will fight to the death until there is only one winner who will gain their freedom. Breckel plans on broadcasting the carnage over the Internet in hopes of gaining huge profits for himself. Among the prisoners are the mysterious Jack Conrad (Steve Austin) and the homicidal Ewan McStarley (Vinny Jones). The game is now on for what is literally the fight of their lives.

Scott Wiper's direction is the biggest downfall to what could have been a great action movie. With quick cuts accompanied by hard rock, Wiper seems to be directing a music video more than a feature film. He does not let the audience fully benefit and appreciate the prisoners fighting one-on-one. Instead of using a wide shot to show the convicts going at it, Wiper opts to use close-ups of the actors who are dishing out the punishment. This severely takes away from the concept of the story and the film. The basis is to show what murderous felons would do when placed on in a life or death situation. By reducing the visual effectiveness, the point becomes moot. When the actors are not moving, Wiper's direction gets better. He does to a well enough job in showing the more brutal crimes such as rape without having to show the actual deed. The implication itself does more for the audience than the filming ever could.

The weak direction is accompanied by an equally weak script by Wiper and Rob Hedden. The story begins decently with the battle of wills between convicts. It is when the story turns into a forced morality tale that it falls apart and makes the audience hang their heads and groan. Throughout the duration of the film, the story becomes filled with the standard counterpoint arguments, e.g., the convicts are human beings, violence is simply entertainment, etc. These arguments would have made a more profound impact if they could not have been seen a mile away. If the script makes it known that these prisoners are hardened and remorseless criminals, what is the purpose of having empathy for them? The point of "violence is entertainment" is a dispute against the film itself. Wiper and Hedden seem to saying that it is wrong for the audience to be watching this brutal film they have created.

Even with a role that seems tailor-made for Steve Austin, he is not able reach the full potential of the character. Again, this is more due to the poor script and directional planning. As Jack Conrad, Austin is supposed to be an ass-kicking, take-no-prisoners badass. But he is hardly involved in any conflicts until the nearly the end of the film. Throughout the majority of the movie, Austin is forced to play Conrad as a sympathizer for the prisoners and the hardships they have endured. It is a major letdown for any fan of the superstar or action movies. Contrary, Vinny Jones has more action sequences and more chances to engage his character of Ewan McStarley. Jones really plays McStarley to the full tilt as a ruthless, unconscionable madman. He masterminds most of the killings and does all the combats that audiences were expecting from Austin. Audiences will be more excited to see Jones on the screen because they will know that something will go down. One can also see that Vinny Jones seems to be having more fun with his character than the rest of the cast because he has something useful to do.

Even by action movie standards, "The Condemned" has all the lucidity of a drug addict telling stories to school children. It enjoys brief moments of high points and adrenaline but has too many gaps between the action sequences and the story. The direction is just too poor and the script is too rushed for the movie to be fully enjoyable. The only condemned are those who bought a ticket for this movie. Yours truly is guilty as charged.

GRADE: D+
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7/10
A Great Movie, Average Remake
andyen_l20 September 2007
As an independent movie, The Condemned kept me interested in the characters, and the actors delivered, especially Mr. Vinnie Jones and former WWE Superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin. Compared to the original Battle Royale, its not as graphic, not as exciting and doesn't catch your soul and shakes it like the Japanese Battle Royale did.

of course the plot have been edited to work for the American audience, seeing that in Battle Royale, the contestants were teenagers, not convicts. I don't think that the US could withstand a Hollywood movie about teenagers going on a killing spree on each other's as the Battle Royale depicts. but the new plot works well, and makes you question how far reality TV is willing to go to entertain.

Compared to other LGF/WWE movies; like The Marine and See No Evil. The Condemned is a genius action movie that work on many levels, at least more than John Cena's boring and totally unrealistic flick.

7/10 and i am being harsh
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9/10
A surprisingly good movie.
trbrubak16 December 2007
This movie is definitely the best movie that the WWE has put out to the public. I got it through my mail account just as a whim, not expecting much from it. I was really surprised how well this movie was put together. The plot is strong: 10 people, who are all on death row for various crimes, are brought to an island by a rich man. The objective: be the last person standing in 30 hours and you will be set free. The entire "game" is broadcast over the internet. The characters are very well casted. Steve Austin makes a great lead character, while Vinnie Jones (Juggernaut from X-men 3), and the many other characters create a real sense of danger and desperation. I would definitely recommend you do not pass this one up. It can be a great movie to watch alone, but is more fun to watch in a group. If you're in the movie store, pick up a copy. You won't be disappointed.
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I almost feel silly - even guilty - in trashing a dumb action film. It's a pushover.
Fedor Petrovic (fedor8)22 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Ten action-movie film-makers (John Woo and the like) are sent on ten separate deserted islands and given an assignment: to write a proper script each. The conditions are that the script is intelligent, basically logical, fairly realistic, and the characters reflect real people at least to a healthy extent. Can they do it? They are given a life-time to complete the goal, but can they actually switch on their brains, and will at least one of them succeed in coming up with something other than moronic garbage? That's the real-life reality show I wanna watch. And laugh to.

I just found out that "The Condemned" is a remake of a Japanese film with a similar premise (with students, i.e. perhaps even dumber), and am not really surprised. Hollywood has become so decadently lacking in ideas and inspiration that remakes and idea-theft is practically all that's left.

TC basically has a wrestler, Steve Austin (even if you never saw him, you'll immediately know he's a wrestler; the face, the body, and the strange line-delivery are a dead giveaway), who plays an appallingly dumb ex-navy guy/marine/whatever. He makes bad decisions CONSTANTLY: 1) he refuses the key for his handcuffs, in what is meant to show his defiance toward his captors (there are much smarter ways to defy someone than by shooting yourself in the foot; that's the Bin Laden school of thought). 2) He gets a chance to telephone somebody - not exactly the norm in such a situation - and who does he call? His ex. What do they discuss? Her feelings. Only 5 minutes later does it dawn on him (after his ex asks for his location) that he should find out the co-ordinates for the island i.e. help the U.S. rescue team find him. 3) His refusal to kill Vinnie Jones, which comes back like a boomerang. In fact, the pacifistic aspect of Austin's character is laughable; here we have a guy who "killed more people than all the other 9 combined", and yet he keeps sparing lives of murderers who threaten his own. So what is he, an assassin-with-the-heart-of-gold? A wrestler-with-the-heart-of-Gandhi? More like the killer-with-the-peanut-brain.

There are many far-fetched and just outright dumb things about TC. We have a multi-millionaire, who for some strange reason known only to himself i.e. which he refuses to share with the audience, decides to become America's or even the world's most-wanted man by organizing a highly illegal game of "Ten Little Indians". Why would he do that? We are told he is intelligent, and we are told that he can sell a used chewing-gum to a university professor. So why do this? How could he possibly think he could get away with it? Or be in hiding for the rest of his life? The assumption, of course, is that all multi-millionaires (let alone billionaires) are corrupt, immoral swine, which is very rich - coming from fat, decadent, RICH Hollywood film-makers.

The game starts off with the ten "contestants" being thrown out of a helicopter. WHY??? It's obvious that the organizers went through great pains and spent tons of money on getting all these murderers released (a harmless bit of idiocy, by comparison) so WHY would they want to risk having them all killed before the game even begins!? One of the ten actually does die straight away; he is mistakenly thrown on the ground and impaled. Austin, the wrestler, is thrown on land, too, and survives because obviously wrestlers fall from 100 meters height every day and live to tell the tale. We've even got two females in the 10. We've even got a married couple! A married couple of serial-killers who behave like a regular, non-psychopathic pair! Full of love and tears for each other: I think I'm gonna sob now! Tell you what. I don't even see any moral problem with taking 10 psychopaths condemned to death and letting them fight it out. Actually, that would be poetic justice, wouldn't it, because most murderers are cowards and kill only from a position of physical strength and by surprise. Hence, experiencing actual pain, as opposed to merely getting hanged and dying quickly would be more just. However, the problem in this silly movie is that the convicts do NOT all behave like psychopaths, which they should logically be (apart from Austin, who predictably is jailed wrongly).

I also have to address the laughable hypocrisy in the film-makers trying to make a message (you read that right) at the end of the movie. The message is violence in society, reality shows going overboard, bla bla bla. The only problem is that this very movie caters to the public's insatiable appetite for violence, as well! Ridiculous, and so transparent.

One of the most illogical moments in the film is when Young and the Japanese guy decide to fight each other, thinking/knowing that they're the last ones left. One question: HOW could either of them possibly have known that the others were all dead (well, apart from Austin)?? TC doesn't start so badly, has an okay cast of "killers" (Austin can't act but he's likable enough, plus Jones is always fun to have) and could have been a fun mindless action film, if it had stuck solely to the action, and if there had been an iota of an effort not to have so much nonsense in it. Like the dull malarkey surrounding the millionaire's film-crew rebellion against the show.

A movie made by idiots for idiots.
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4/10
Its like Battle Royale and Cannibal Holocast without any shock value
akuma6345 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this movie expecting a bloody and gory action movie. But there wasn't much real violence or enough action. The fights were way too choppy, they pretty much have cameras on several angles and constantly keep jumping camera to camera and you can hardly even tell who's winning the fight. So let me get into the plot and try not to give much away.

So a TV producer creates an internet show where convicts across the world are sent to an island to fight to the death, the winner gets freedom and money. So they spend way too much time on the producer and his girlfriend despising him more and more over the show and his crew turning against him. The convicts have very little to no back story, pretty much a few of them have their crimes mentioned and that's all you ever know about them. They spend too much time away from the convicts, like they show what Steve Austin's girlfriend is doing despite her never doing anything useful in the entire movie except answer the phone twice and watch the webcast.

So again the fights were badly filmed. The kills were very lame. Every convict has an exploding ankle bracelet with a tab, if someone pulls the tab then it blows up in 10 seconds. All you see is a cheesy fire explosion without a single drop of blood or even a body. They also try so hard to be shocking and edgy by doing things like having an off camera rape scene where the film crew just sits there and does nothing about. They also do the whole Cannibal Holocaust thing where they try to send the message of "if we try to profit for such horrid things then how are we better than them." But they don't do anything shocking in this movie to hit the message home.

All you're really left with is just a mediocre ripoff of Con Air, Battle Royale, and Cannibal Holocaust. Not much blood, not enough action, very little character development, a very predictable plot (we all know from the start that the good guy lives and the bad guys don't.) They never even try to swerve the audience it's just a very predictable movie that tries to have a message just to attempt to make it look smart. So if you get a free rental at Blockbuster or get it really cheap then maybe you might want to watch it. But I'd rather you just get The Running Man, Con Air, Battle Royale, or just play the video game Manhunt. All of those will satisfy you in ways this movie never can.
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9/10
Loved the action, moral questions and rick Hoffman was great
dschuster-14 May 2007
The movie kept me engaged, entertained and questioned the premise of media gone too far. Vinnie, Steve and Rick were great and the music made the action come to life. The Asian actor was entertaining and the moral questioning by the producers woman and Rick Hoffman kept things real. I wished there was more questioning of the Iraz war or any violent act.

The movie was directed with insight, detail and the ability to engage the audience.

Will see this movie several times and I bought the soundtrack.

Good work!
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8/10
Stone Cold raises Hell in a morally confusing and violent thriller
powerfull_jedi27 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Wrestlers tend to achieve success mostly within the squared circle, some use that circle as a way to jump into other forms of entertainment such as TV and cinemas, not many succeed. Dwayne Johnson seems to be an exception to the rule as he has proved himself as a great action star and has good range. Since then the WWE has been trying to jump start other wrestlers into the spotlight through their own movie studio, WWE Films and their box office results show that movies starring WWE wrestlers are a tough sell. It's understandable, it's hard for anyone, outside the wrestling scene, to take a movie starring a wrestler, seriously. But fan or no fan, nothing stops you from checking out this movie. Personally I've seen all the WWE Films made so far, See No Evil was a fairly good horror movie(it also happen to star one of my personal favorite wrestlers, Kane), The Marine ,on the other hand, could have so much better if the director wasn't so busy trying to figure out what story he wanted to tell in The Marine. The Condemned turns out to be the best of all the three movies so far. For those who don't know, The Condemned is a story about 10 convicted felons who must fight to the death in a remote Pacific island and the last man standing walks away a millionaire by the production company who streams the event to all Internet-paying costumers, making it a genuine bloodsport/snuff film, bombs are attached to their ankles and are set to explode within 30 hours, they also explode immediately if they are tampered with(yeah,it does sounds a little too much like The Running Man or the Japanese thriller Battle Royal). One of the unlucky convicts is no other then Conrad, who is played by the Texas Rattlesnake "Stone Cold" Steve Austin who tries to find a way to escape. As soon as all of them are dropped on the island, a survival games begin, people are stabbed, necks are broken, profanity abounds and women get violently raped while Ian Brecklin watches this mess delightfully even when being reminded by some of his co-workers that he crossed so many lines ethically and morally. Also in the meantime, the FBI is working hard to track down the website source while in another part of the US, Conrad's girlfriend is suffering for his absence. The movie has a nice kick to it, it's got truckloads of action and gun play, well enough to quench the thirst of action fans, acting is acceptable, considering the cast is made out of mostly newcomers and some established B-grade actors(Vinnie Jones, who plays a deranged British soldier who rapes women just for fun, was seen recently in X-Men 3 as the Juggernaut. Note: His terrible line from that movie: "I'm the Juggernaut, b****!" still echoes in my mind. And Nathan Jones who has gotten roles in recent Kung Fu movies such as The Protector, aka Tom Yum Goong). Stone Cold plays a part he's most accustomed to, a foul-mouthed trouble maker and I can't say his range is the best, but much like Kane in See No Evil, this movie suits him just fine. The action is featured through quick cuts and always moving camera, it makes it's more energetic and adds more suspense but it also makes people feel a little dizzy, it has become fairly common on lots of movies today, but in the case of Condemned, it works, kinda off. They could've been less shaky, that's one complaint. The moral dilemma in the movie is also fairly well-played and it focuses on a popular urban legend subject, which is snuff films. How far will you to be entertained? What are the standards in this area? What and where are the boundaries? Though the movie is sorta sending a mix signal, because we can look at it as this way, the movie's a giant mess of recorded violence and it's telling us in a way not to see it...but OK, we get the message: people who watch convicts killing off each other deserve some form of moral judgment, or so one of the distressed reporters says so(millions of people paying 50 bucks to watch live murder...what a scary though**shudders**). The movie also doesn't paint alternative media(such as blogs, message boards and chat rooms) in the best light as the villains pretty much use them to generate awareness for their pay-per-view show, again scary. The Condemned is pretty good for all it's worth, it doesn't need a complicated plot, it delivers the bare essentials as far as action movies go, perhaps closer to the ultra-violent movies of the 80's and 90's then what The Marine was trying to accomplish. It's also far more mature then The Marine, some scarce one-liners is pretty much all the humor you'll find in this movie. Give it a chance, it's worth seeing it in the movie theaters at least once.
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