Review: The Condemned

The Condemned
5 10

An uber-successful TV producer handpicks a bunch of death row convicts from around the world to participate in a "fight ‘till the death" (cue STAR TREK fighting music) in an attempt to win their freedom. Oh yeah, the event is televised over the internet so that everyone can watch the uncut footage of the carnage taking place on the island...of the condemned! Hey Mark Burnett, take notes for your next reality show!

Before seeing this, I was thinking...is this really going to be any good? I mean, didn’t they already make this movie a while back? (it was called SURVIVING THE GAME) At least that film had a rapper in it. Anyways, back to my original point, a part of me was hoping that this was going to be the "good movie" that would pave a new way for ex-wrestlers to be the next big thing in action movies. Unfortunately, THE CONDEMNED really doesn’t deliver. It started off pretty good, didn’t look like a B-movie and even the acting, wasn't so bad. As for the action (the only reason to see a movie like this in the first place), I’m still on the fence about that, but I'll discuss that a little later on.

Steve Austin plays Jack Conrad, one of the condemned and an ex-Special Forces. I like Austin, but I hate to say this, he isn’t the next big action hero. He’s massive, cool and has badass written all over him, but it isn’t enough to carry an A-movie. I think he has potential to be in the big movies, but more in a supporting supporting (that’s not a typo) role. I don’t think he had more than three lines at one time in this film and they were lines that you really couldn’t muck up either.

I respect the fact that the filmmakers didn’t want to use CGI for any of the fight scenes in this movie though. The location shots were good and the whole old Japanese bunker leftovers from WWII were cool too. But this is one of those movies where if they had used the same effects of, say the film 300, during their fighting sequences, it would have elevated it to a whole new level. Instead, we get that close-up shaky cam shot, where we see sweet f*ck-all during a fight scene and we miss all the action. This type of shot isn’t doing it for me anymore!

This was a WWF production, so why not cater this to a younger audience? (FYI: this ain’t a kid's movie) This movie was really over the top, not so much the violence, but the scenes where some of the women (who were contestants, too; not to mention big breasted!), were getting beaten and a few of the shots were implying that they were getting raped. It was just too much...I felt a little uncomfortable. I can just imagine when it comes out on DVD. Some parents will watch it with their kids because they think it’s the WWF and it has "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in it, and then "those scenes" will come up. Yipes. It’s going to be a real magic moment when the father has to explain that stuff to his kid right then and there.

Furthermore, it seemed to me like there was supposed to be a message in this movie somewhere. I’m not quite sure what it was though. Maybe we’re all voyeurs, or the media has gone too far and is basically manipulating everything we read and watch. Who knows and honestly...who really cares? I wanted to watch a good action popcorn flick…and unfortunately, this wasn’t it.

300 (10/10) Blades of Glory (8/10) Black Snake Moan (8/10) Catch and Release (5/10) Deja Vu (6/10) Eragon (4/10) Factory Girl (7/10) Grindhouse (9/10) Premonition (3/10) Reign Over Me (8/10) Shooter (6/10) The Astronaut Farmer (8/10) Norbit (6/10) The Departed (9/10) The Lookout (7/10) TMNT (8/10) Wild Hogs (5/10) Zodiac (7/10)

-- by Tim Goernert

Source: JoBlo.com



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