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THE CONDEMNED, 2007
Movie Reviews!

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Movie Reviews - The Condemned

Robert's Review

"The Condemned" is a new evolution in Reality TV. Multi-millionaire turned producer Ian Breckel (Robert Mammone) decides to take the world's 10 deadliest criminals, who are all currently on death row in 3rd-world prisons, and pit them against each other on a remote island in a fight to the death. The winner and sole survivor will receive freedom and a huge cash prize. Each "contestant" has just 30 hours to kill the rest, otherwise the C4 explosives that are wired to their ankle bracelets will explode, ending the game and killing them all. Since no TV network on Earth would want anything to do with a show like this, Ian and his team broadcast the entire show live over the Internet for a pay-per-view fee. As the events unfold, many of the female "contestants" are brutally raped and killed and many of the male "contestants" are brutally tortured and killed. It's also clear early on who the two main stars of the show will be – an American named Jack Conrad (Stone Cold Steve Austin) and a European named Ewan McStarley (Vinnie Jones). The drama behind the scenes gets out of hand fast as disputes arise between Ian (who wants the show to go on) and some of his staff (who feel they're crossing a moral line and are going too far). With all the drama on camera and behind the scenes, it doesn't take long for things to go really, irrevocably wrong with the entire production.

"The Condemned" has an interesting premise, but it really wasn't written very well and falls flat in delivering its message. All the drama behind the scenes focused on the issue of Morality vs. Entertainment and how anyone who watches something like this should be ashamed of themselves for supporting such barbarity and immorality… but it wasn't compelling in how it was delivered. There are several scenes in this movie that are very uncomfortable to watch (i.e. watching a woman get brutally raped, watching an injured and helpless man be savagely beaten and tortured for fun, etc) but rather than show the full effect of those scenes and really make the audience think about and deal with what they were seeing, the director (Scott Wiper) instead chose to cut away and focus on the behind the scenes conflicts between Ian and his staff, making them try to come to grips with what they were doing and seeing. So, the impact of the uncomfortable scenes was drastically reduced and wasn't nearly as compelling and thought-provoking as it could have been. In addition, I really hated how much camera motion was used in several big fight scenes with Steve Austin. It was visually

dizzying and totally unnecessary. Lastly, one of the biggest, most glaring problems with the plot was how often Ian and his team voluntarily put themselves in harms way for no reason. For example: during a big fight scene one of the "contestants" has a gun… and Ian sends a camera crew to get up close while filming… so guess what, the camera crew gets shot and killed for fun. I could go on for a while recounting all the boneheaded and moronic things Ian and his crew does that places them at risk, but it's just not worth it. It just wasn't very good overall, but it could have been so much better with a better script and better direction. The premise is still pretty interesting.

All in all, I'd give this movie 1.5 STARS (out of 5). Re-watch value: NONE

Brett's Review

"The Condemned" is a movie that should stay exactly what the title tells…CONDEMNED. This movie was about the stupidest movie I have ever seen put out. "The Condemned" tells the story of Jack Conrad (Stone Cold Steve Austin), who is awaiting the death penalty in a corrupt Central American prison. He is "purchased" by a wealthy television producer and taken to a desolate island where he must fight to the death against nine other condemned killers from all corners of the world, with freedom going to the sole survivor. This little "live action Survivor" is going to be aired all over the internet…right, can we say lame.

First off we have another WWE movie with another WWF wrestler (Steve Austin), I wonder if the fans of WWF are slowing fading away so they decided it's time to go into the movies, or maybe the success of the Rock made them think "hey we could duplicate that", well WWF YOU CAN'T please stop trying and exposing us to bad action movies. The movie has so many plot holes I don't know where to begin, the acting is horrible, and the story line was complete garbage. I don't know where to begin with this movie, I'm at a loss. My advice is stay away, and if you must then save yourself $10 bucks and rent it.

Overall Rating: 1 Star (out of 5). Re-Watch Value: Never (Not enough rum in the world).

Trivia: Steve Austin was originally offered the part Vinnie Jones plays, but after WWE decided to make the movie in their WWE Films department, they gave Steve Austin the lead role.

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