Wed 2 May 2007
Stone Cold Steve Austin’s healing hands at work.
Audrey Hess’ Rating (based on big tits, explosions, a great soundtrack and everyone dying who’s supposed to die):
Ian Forbes’ Rating:
Okay, so Audrey and myself decided to brave this film … actually, it was her idea … so … thanks?
“The Condemned” is a huge rip off of “Survivor”, “Battle Royale”, “The Running Man”, “Surviving the Game” and countless other films.
Ten death row inmates from around the world are gathered on one island to fight for their freedom. Ooohh … scary.
Let’s just get down to brass tacks, shall we?
This film fails to deliver on just about every aspect of what a film like this should be except for how hard I laughed at its ineptitude.
I’ll start with the face of the film, Stone Cold Steve Austin. The filmmakers defanged the Texas Rattlesnake, removing any trace of the WWE/F wrestler millions of fans know and love.
There was no delivery of the Stone Cold Stunner, no uttering “Oh, Hell Yeah”, no beer cans being smashed together and gulped down and no raised middle fingers.
What we are left with is a brutish, over-clichéd one-dimensional wrecking machine that, to no one’s surprise, is actually a Special Forces member and therein has all the right tools to compete in the game.
I would have been more than happy to watch a film all about people bashing each other’s brains in but that’s not what gets to the screen.
First, for a film that apparently carries an R rating, the brutality of the fights is a little on the tame side and I honestly don’t remember any strong language, no matter what the MPAA ratings sticker says.
Second, the director decided the best way to amp up the action was to employ epileptic cam. My head is still spinning from the camera work. You literally feel like your seat was placed inside the dryer during an earthquake.
The result of this camera debauchery are confusing fight scenes that carry very little impact. For a film starring a professional wrestler and a host of athletic actors, the fight choreography is worse than “West Side Story”.
I’ve seen better fights amongst my friends in college following a wrestling pay per view. And no, that’s not hyperbole.
Adding to this calamity is a secondary plot involving Stone Cold’s girlfriend and her concern over the competition which is being broadcast live over the Internet.
Every bit of this subplot, and that of the FBI trying to find the island’s location to shut down the illegal and immoral activities therein, do nothing but drag the film down.
After seeing the trailer and knowing what this film is, how long do you think the running time should be? 80 minutes? 90? Try 113 minutes. This badly deformed puppy of a film is nearly two hours long!
Short of a fanatical obsession with Mr. Austin and his hijinks, one should only see this film after having at least two margaritas … wait, I did that … okay, you may need more depending on your tolerance (though my legal team says I should remind you that one should always drink responsibly).
“The Condemned” is exactly that and gets a 1 out of 5 from me. While my cohort, Audrey thought it deserved another point, it’s my site so I’ll do what I want. Hah! (please don’t hurt me)
Try watching something more worth your time, eating a sandwich and/or doing your laundry. It’s far more productive.