In an age of Gladiators, the power that was Rome held its empire together with the might of its armies, the sweat and tears of its conquests, and the cheers and bloodlust of its citizens - ... See full summary »
John is taken on a murder-fueled ride by a mysterious stranger that transforms the weak-willed, disillusioned husband and father into a desperate hero willing to go to any length to protect his family.
Samuel L. Jackson,
After twenty years in prison, Foley is finished with the grifter's life. When he meets an elusive young woman named Iris, the possibility of a new start looks real. But his past is proving to be a stubborn companion.
Jared Martin moves next door to the Hansetts, along with his hot motorcycle and eerie, ill-tempered dog. Although everyone else in the neighborhood takes an instant liking to him, Loren ... See full summary »
The origin story of the the mythical Greek hero. Betrayed by his stepfather, the King, and exiled and sold into slavery because of a forbidden love, Hercules must use his formidable powers to fight his way back to his rightful kingdom.
An intergalactic fighting competition between champions of various worlds has traditionally been won by a species much larger and stronger than humans. Entering the contest, a human finds ... See full summary »
Some guy and his pregnant wife drive somewhere, when a car hits them. The girl dies. Now the guy ends up a drunk in Acapulco. A pretty brunette picks him up. At his hotel room she tasers him and two guys drag him away. He wakes up in a large cell. In the next cell is some Asian guy who tells him that they'll all die. Some guy in an executioner mask appears and tells our guy that he'll have to kill if he wants to live and that his new name is Deathdealer. After being tortured and teasered repeatedly, he's thrown into some green screened room where he's attacked by another fighter. It takes a while but he finally reacts and fights and beats the other guy. But since in real life he's a paramedic, he wants to help his enemy, until the executioner arrives and beheads the looser.
As it turns out this is all part of an underground fighting ring that transmits the fights live over the internet all over the world. The authorities are looking for those responsible to no avail. In charge is Samuel Jackson. He's got two Asian girls running the high tech operation. The pretty brunette turns out to be a recruiter, who finds guys, kidnaps them, and offers them to Sam.
She has high hopes for her guy, while the executioner thinks he has no future. Sam meanwhile offers him a deal, if he wins 10 fights, he earns his freedom. But it's only until he sees the Asian guy's girl die because of his unwillingness of to fight that he finally reacts. He accepts Sam's terms but wants the executioner to be his final opponent. The brunette helps and heals him all along.
He does well in fights, but he knows well that it's unlikely that Sam will keep his word, if it weren't for the help of the girl. We also learn a bit more about his background as the story unravels.
Among underground fighting ring movies, Arena is one of the better ones. And it's mostly thanks to a strong cast. Lutz and Messner do a solid job. Even Jackson, who hasn't done anything resembling decent acting in decades is actually in good shape here. This tongue-in-cheek role is well suited for him. Anything more serious is a challenge for him. But if there's one person responsible for making this movie really enjoyable it's the lovely Katia Winter. She just steals the show. And fortunately, they director doesn't mind showing all her strengths. As a fight movie, Arena doesn't really stand out, except perhaps for the fight with the serial killer. All the fights are against a CGI 300-inspired artificially-colored background and in different settings. Some of the scenes with the viewers are weak. We get some Japanese fans and well and American frat boys who stumbled onto the set after starring in a tooth-whitening commercial. Those scenes are a bit repetitive. Arena offers a lot of story for the genre. Usually movies like these are happy to have some caricature of a villain and some good guy, that's it. Arena does offer a lot more and with a humble budget.
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