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The Condemned is another entry into the action genre from WWE Films. This movie showcases wrestling legend Steve Austin. He plays a black ops agent who gets arrested and sentenced to death by a foreign government. His government conveniently denies his existence and leaves him to rot.
In the meantime in some other completely different foreign country some nut job has the bright idea of making a reality show. This will showcase killers left on an island and whoever survives wins their freedom. Think ďSurvivorĒ but with way more guns and bloodshed. Yes, we have seen this concept before. I was very skeptical of this going in, but I am glad to say I was pleasantly surprised.
Austin had more then a little help in his first leading role, as Vinny Jones aptly played his antagonist. Together, they put together some top notch fight scenes. As is tradition with action films, both of them enjoyed limited dialogue other then sarcastic quips. Tory Mussett filled the role of eye candy and actually pulled off some key and vital scenes.
The plot was deeper then I could have ever expected out of an action flick. That alone is what most separates this from other similar movies. Just about every character carried their own subplots. If it wasnít bad guys morally questioning their decisions it had good guys pondering how far to cross the line.
This is the first Iíve seen of director Scott Wiper, but heís obviously done his homework. The locations were gorgeous, and the atmosphere was tense as it should be. He even got risky and added some stylized flair with a few choppy filmed fight scenes. He worked it out.
The special effects are what really carried the movie. Tons of massive heart thumping explosions were nice. The body count was just about uncountable. Buckets of blood are always a nice touch for an action film. There was some obvious CGI work done, but not so much as to distract from the overall picture.
If I have any quarrels with this it is that they added a completely unnecessary love subplot. If youíre going to make a movie for guys who love movies, there is no need to include wife and kids. If Rambo taught us anything, itís that the chick should exit stage left to give our heroes extra motivation in his mission.
All in all, this movie does few things wrong, and a lot of things right. You know going in that itís not Oscar material. Itís a fun popcorn flick. Enjoy it for what it is and youíre sure to have a good time. I would decidedly recommend this film. In the grand tradition of Austin himself, I would recommend garnishing with nachos and a cold beer.
Added: Sunday, May 06, 2007
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