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

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Advertisement
Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Subtitled Salazar's Revenge in the UK, this fifth film in the long-running series never quite...

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

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.