Actor : Kellan Lutz , Samuel L Jackson , Katia Winter , James Remar
Genre : Action
Synopsis : After losing the love of his life in a car crash, David Lord (Lutz) finds himself in Mexico on a drunken binge. He is then recruited by an underground organisation lead by Logan ( Jackson ) to participate in deadly arena matches for an internet public .
Where do i start ?
Story : I could have written that story on a napkin in 5 minutes. Be it Death Race 2000 , The Condemned , The Running Man or any arcade fighting game movies, you've seen that movie a hundred times before except there's no original context here or any attempt to contextualize the narrative. No name organisation ( basically Jackson & 4 henchmen ) operating from an unknown location ( but it's hi-tech) with an unknown public ( couple of frat boys and a guy in Asia ) watching unknown fighters ( well the hero is a fireman ) go against each others in a green room that looks like a "fighting theme level" once CGI are added for the public. The definition of blandness. On top of that , they do attempt a "twist" ending but beside the blandness of the twist , it makes no sense whatsoever. Meh!
Acting: I am pretty sure Samuel L. Jackson lost a bet to appear in this movie. Not only is he phoning it in , he doesn't even try to conceal it. Look at his face on the cover. LOOK AT IT !!!! Kellan Lutz shows his great acting skill by switching between cardboard and over-acting. Katia Winter is clearly the one with the most "emotional" parts to display her art but all i remember is the front-frontal. James Remar is always good but he has like 4 minutes of screen time in here.Again Meh!
You know the hero is dangerous when he gets the Hannibal Lecter treatment
Action: Now in an action movie about illegal fighting , you have to have fights right ? Well the hero does have 10 fights to go throught for his liberty but you basically see only 4. The other 6 are like watching recaps of your favorite team on Sportcenter. So you suppose the 4 fights you get to watch are awesome but alas not since none last longer than 3 minutes. Very underwhelming. At least they are violent according to the CGI blood splattering all over the camera lens. Third Meh!
Violence: That's the only strong point about the whole ideal. Chopped head , axe in the back , sword in the gut , slashed throat , empalement , etc. You can see where all the production's budget went yet they failed to make it entertaining throught rapid camera work , excessive slo-motion and bad angles. It makes me think that the director watched 300 one too many time.
Final word: Straight-to-DVD release can be fun. Sometimes because it's a really good movie without a budget or a marketing campaign to garner a theatrical release and sometime it's because it's so bad that you can't help yourself but enjoy it. Arena is neither.
Bonus drinking game : everytime the hero get tasered , you drink. DON'T TASE ME , BRO! should be the tagline of this movie.
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