4.8/10
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54 user 30 critic

Arena (2011)

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ON DISC
David Lord finds himself forced into the savage world of a modern gladiatorial arena, where men fight to the death for the entertainment of the online masses.

Director:

Jonah Loop

Writers:

Tony Giglio, Michael Hultquist (original screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Samuel L. Jackson ... Logan
Kellan Lutz ... David Lord
Johnny Messner ... Kaden
Katia Winter ... Milla
Daniel Dae Kim ... Taiga
James Remar ... Agent McCarty
Nina Dobrev ... Lori
Lauren Shiohama ... Kawaii
Irene Choi ... Kaneko
Kofi Yiadom ... Ripper
Derek Mears ... Brutus Jackson
Dean J. West ... Rick
Jason Zone Fisher Jason Zone Fisher ... Josh
Kent Jude Bernard Kent Jude Bernard ... Craig
Grant Case Grant Case ... Drunk Frat Boy
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Storyline

David Lord finds himself forced into the savage world of a modern gladiatorial arena, where men fight to the death for the entertainment of the online masses.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The rules are simple, Play or be Played See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal and bloody violence throughout, graphic nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

11 October 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fury See more »

Filming Locations:

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Samuel L. Jackson was cast, the title of the film was changed from "Fury" to "Arena", to avoid confusion with Jackson's role as Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. See more »

Goofs

Brutus Jackson could not have been broken out of the prison transport outside Robben Island prison. The prison is on a small island and transports prior to the decommissioning of the prison were done by boat. See more »

Quotes

David Lord: Life sucks. Scars happen.
See more »

Connections

References The Silence of the Lambs (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

You've Gotta Want It
Written by Catherine Maria Colpits
Performed by Dolorata
Courtesy of Experience Music Group
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User Reviews

 
You've already seen it
2 October 2011 | by equazcionSee all my reviews

Men are forced to fight to the death for an eager internet audience, but the game's most recent recruit may pose a threat to the system with his unyielding spirit.

It's a cliché to even say this sounds familiar, so I won't do that ;)

This might've had a chance at being good if it had been made prior to Gladiator, Running Man, Gamer, Rollerball, etc. etc. etc. (as then, at least, the idea behind the whole thing would've been something new). This doesn't seem to make much of an attempt at serving up anything significantly fresh though, except perhaps the effects technology to up the bar slightly on gore.

The topic is the public's tendency to get hooked on sadistic voyeurism, and the people who use that tendency to make money/power. Samuel L. Jackson plays the man taking advantage, and although Samuel is usually great, and I would SO like to say "even Samuel's awesomeness couldn't save this film," I actually can't even say that. I found his performance here to be somewhat sub-Samuel. His heart just didn't seem in it, and for that I can not blame him too much, as the material just isn't worthy of his efforts.

I'm not sure what exactly got Mr. Jackson stuck with this job, but I have a feeling it was a reluctant favor to first-time director Jonah Loop, who handled visual effects on a couple of Sam's other films.

The film progresses somewhat as one would expect, albeit with a little window dressing. I found myself wanting to fast-forward often, which I took as a bad sign. Cinematography, effects, sound, etc. were on Hollywood par though, and everyone else's acting was actually pretty good (perhaps the rookie director was too intimidated by Jackson to offer him much direction, in comparison). Hopefully, with some better ideas that everyone can actually care about, this director can pull off some good films in the future.


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