Every seven years in an unsuspecting town, The Tournament takes place. A battle royale between 30 of the world's deadliest assassins. The last man standing receiving the $10,000,000 cash ... See full summary »
A disgruntled man creates a hit list with a stranger during a drunken night out and must then race to try to save those he marked for extermination as the bodies begin to pile up and all fingers point to him.
Cuba Gooding Jr.,
Jack Conrad is awaiting the death penalty in a corrupt Central American prison. He is "purchased" by a wealthy television producer and taken to a desolate island where he must fight to the death against nine other condemned killers from all corners of the world, with freedom going to the sole survivor.
Pretentious, immoral nonsense with easy pay cheque written all over it
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
In a futuristic world where people watch and vote for on-line battles to the death, David Lord (Kellan Lutz) is an all star football player who has everything going for him until his beautiful girlfriend is killed in a car accident. With his reason for living gone, he finds himself drunk and desperate in a Mexican bar, where a chance encounter finds him thrust into the world of the online fighting, run by the sadistic Logan (Samuel L. Jackson.) As he fights for survival, Lord hatches a cunning plan to break free and bring down Logan's brutal empire.
Samuel L. Jackson is certainly one of the more curious of the Hollywood A listers. A late starter on the scene, and certainly not one of the young and beautiful crowd now, his name on a poster can still pretty much guarantee a big box office opening weekend with the right publicity and appraisal. He possesses an undeniable charisma and style that still makes him distinctive as an actor and meant he was always destined to make it big one day. Yet, when artistic credibility is not at the top of his agenda, he seems an actor who's willing to sell himself out for an easy pay cheque on whichever piece of limited release/straight to DVD bunkem that comes along, of which category Arena falls into quite easily.
Aiming for a Running Man style clever satire of the way television/online media is heading, Jonah Loop's utterly style over substance offering simply revels in it's own ridiculousness, becoming ever more over the top and far fetched as it goes along and seeming to compensate by way of a load of brutal, nonsensically over the top blood and gore delivered with a minimum of subtlety or taste. Jackson himself tries his best and tries to inject the hopeless corpse with some of his flair and delivery, but he really shouldn't have bothered. Lutz is little more than the average all brawn no charisma clowns Hollywood seems to pass off as actors these days, while the rest of the supporting cast just go through the motions as you can with this sort of thing.
It would have been one thing if Arena had been a beautiful mess of a film. As it is, it's just quite a garish and unpleasant one. *
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