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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.
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.
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.
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.
The Condemned is a movie that kinda come out of the blue to me one day.
I had stumbled across it on IMDb and became excited to see it because
it seemed like quite an interesting concept. It seemed like a nice
action flick - but WWE, the people behind the stupid horror flick "See
No Evil", were making it so I was a bit cautious as to what the outcome
would be. Surprisingly, this movie has taken me by surprise and I can
say that it is a great, fun action movie with great fight scenes, a
nice plot and a lot more. The plot revolves around 10 prisoners on
death row (including Stone Cold "Steve Austin" himself and Vinnie
Jones) who are sent to an island in the middle of nowhere to fight each
other to the death as it is broadcast online, leaving one survivor who
leaves the island with freedom and a cash prize. The plot is actually
the main thing that attracted me to see the movie. It sounds like
"Battle Royale", which is a great flick, so it was great to hear a
familiar idea bought to the screen again. It's not a stupid plot like
it might sound to some people, but it's just a simple one and a fun one
which doesn't require much thinking. Most of the fight scenes in the
movie are great, and there's plenty of fights, action and explosions
going on non-stop throughout the movie. The first few fights I'll admit
are the better ones, but the others are good enough too and still
entertaining to watch. I feel that certain characters in the movie are
killed off rather too quickly though and some seem to disappear for a
while, and then sooner or later get killed off the next time we see
them again. The character development is good, but I do feel like we
could have spent a little bit more time with one or two of them -
mainly the women actually. The cast is good too, and provide good
performances. Wrestler Steve Austin doesn't give the best performance
but he is good enough. I feel some of his lines weren't delivered too
great, but he does make a good action hero and delivers some good fight
sequences for us to witness. I'm not going to blame the guy though as
he isn't a professional actor and could have easily given a horrible
performance but he doesn't. Vinnie Jones is, well, Vinnie Jones - the
same old Vinnie Jones with the accent, gritting of the teeth and tough
face - and yet still gives a good performance. Tory Mussett, who I had
only seen in the terrible Boogeyman, also gives a good performance and
this time round has a character to work with. The others are good too,
and there's not one performance in the movie that I could say was bad
acting. While The Condemned could have gotten a higher rating from me
if it had had a few better fights and a bit more screen time for some
characters, it hardly has anything negative about it. It's a great
action movie with lots of explosions, fights and action to keep you
entertained. Don't let the fact that it is made by WWE put you off the
movie, it's a great action movie and definitely worth checking out if
you want a great action movie to watch.
*** This review may contain 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.
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.
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.
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
THE CONDEMNED : 6.7 OUT 10
THE FIGHT IS ON .
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 clichéd 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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