The Condemned

"Good"

The Condemned Review


When a movie features superstar wrestlers in leading roles, usually it's a glaring signal to drop everything and run from the multiplex. The Condemned is an exception to that rule; it has more merit than all of the previous WWE films combined... but when we're talking about The Scorpion King and See No Evil, that's not saying much.

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin stars as Jack Conrad, an American on death row for murder in El Salvador. Without notice, he's flown to Papua New Guinea and dropped on a remote island along with nine other condemned prisoners. They're each wearing an explosive device on their ankles. If they tamper with it or pull the attached red tab, it will explode.

Why are 10 prisoners dropped on this island and strapped with explosives? Because it makes for good television! Millionaire producer Ian Breckel (Robert Mammone) has come up with an idea for reality TV. He's rigged the island with hundreds of cameras and camouflaged camera crews, and instructs the prisoners to kill each other. The prisoner alive after 30 hours will be released. If there's more than one alive... all of them will explode. All this is airing -- live -- on the internet. It's like Survivor... with a lot more blood.

Much has been said about the film's hypocritical social statement. The Condemned scolds viewers for their obscene obsession with violence, yet has no problem with drawing audiences into theaters with taglines like "Ten people will fight. One person will live. You get to watch!" And why would WWE promoter and executive producer Vince McMahon want to protest violence? Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

Despite his sub-par thespian skills, Steve Austin fits the bill. His facial expressions are monotonous, eyes are inexpressive, and dialogue delivery hilariously deadpan... but these qualities totally work with his character. On screen, Austin is powerful and intimidating. Not in an Anthony-Hopkins-in-The-Silence-of-the-Lambs kind of way, but rather, in an I-hope-to-God-I-never-run-into-this-guy-in-a-dark-alley way, and that's exactly what this role needs. He isn't a good actor, but Austin is perfect for the part.

Ex-pro soccer player Vinnie Jones co-stars as an ex-British forces agent who has also found himself on death row; he's Jack's biggest competition on the island. Surprisingly, Jones has a knack for acting. His eyes are intense and menacing... he's a force to be reckoned with. These guys put The Rock to shame.

Even with an engaging concept and decent enough performances, The Condemned doesn't quite work. Screenwriters Scott Wiper and Rob Hedden try too hard to make the film more than a shameless action flick. Halfway through, their script loses its edge when they direct our attention to subplots, supporting characters, and backstories that go absolutely nowhere. Guys, if you're going to make a movie like this... do it right. Don't complicate things. Keep it simple, bloody, and stupid.

Stone Cold kill helicopter!!!



The Condemned

Facts and Figures

Run time: 113 mins

In Theaters: Friday 27th April 2007

Box Office USA: $7.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $8.6M

Distributed by: Lionsgate Films

Production compaines: Condemned Productions, Sidestreet Entertainment, WWE Studios

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 15%
Fresh: 15 Rotten: 84

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Scott Wiper

Producer:

Starring: as Conrad, as McStarley, as Breckel, as Julie (as Victoria Mussett), as Paco, Madeleine West as Sarah Cavanaugh, Rick Hoffman as 'Goldy' Goldman, as Special Agent Wilkins, Andrew Buchanan as Lyle

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.