John Reviews The Condemned

The-Condemned-Poster-2“WWE Films presents…” Does anything else really need to be said about any movie really? A motion picture staring Stone Cold Steve Austin and produced by the company that brings us WrestleMania every year. Did anyone have much hope for this movie? Did “The Condemned” have any chance at being ok?

Well… I thought it might actually.

Here’s the idea behind the movie:

“An adrenalin-charged action thriller, “The Condemned” tells the story of Joe 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.”

I’ve been saying for a few weeks now that if this movie could just deliver some good ass kicking action, some witty tough guy one liners and throw in a couple of laughs… then it just might have a chance at being a decent time at the movies. Does it succeed?

THE GOOD

Stone Cold Steve Austin looks terrific. His physical presence in the movie is a plus. Just the sight of him screams “bad ass”.

The first 15 minutes did exactly what the movie needed to do. For the first 15 minutes… I’ll comment on the rest of it later.

Vinnie Jones in anything is gold.

Rick Hoffman as the Television Producer “Goldman” was amazing! He was single handedly the single best character/part of The Condemned. I got a little excited every time I saw him on screen, because you knew something funny was going to come out of his mouth.

THE BAD

Oh my dear lord in heaven where do I begin? Steve Austin looked great… but the moment he opens his mouth you’re instantly reminded that he’s not an actor. Wow… i don’t know if his lines could have been delivered any worse than they were. I swore I thought George Lucas was directing him or something. This movie would have been about 15% better just by having The Rock in the lead. What I heard was that Autin was originally supposed to be the bad guy in the movie… that would have been a much better idea… especially if it was a bad guy that never opened his mouth. Too bad, Austin did pretty ok in “The Longest Yard”, but that was a role that didn’t really require anything from him. He can’t carry a film as its lead, and they shouldn’t have tried.

WHAT THE HELL WAS THE GIRLFRIEND BACK HOME?!?!?! For those of you who haven’t seen it (which is most of you), Austin has a girlfriend back home they keep cutting to. SHE SERVED NO FRICKING PURPOSE to the movie whatsoever. All she did was take up valuable screen time that could have / should have been used for ass kicking. I’m not kidding… there was no point to her. Same goes with the US law enforcement officers in the movie. They served no function at all. It was annoying as hell.

Look, I watch WrestleMania every year… so I guess you could say I’m at least a mild wrestling fan. But I’m sorry, what the fuck is the WWE doing moralizing in a movie about how bad it is to glorify violence??? Was that supposed to be some kind of joke?

The first 15 minutes of the film really got my hopes up. Good action, tough guy one liners, some funny stuff… everything this movie needed to do to work. And then after 15 or 20 minutes the just threw it all away. Usless characters, endless moralizing, bad acting… it’s almost as if the movie makers put their foot on the gas and built up some great steam… only to take their foot totally off expecting the momentum of the first 15 minutes to carry the movie the rest of the way. It didn’t… it just died.

SHAKY F’ING CAMERA. What little action was in the movie was instantly ruined and turned to shit by a deadly case of Shaky Camera Syndrome. You know what I’m talking about… when a bad director thinks that shaking the camera all to hell makes action feel more real… when all it really does is make us all motion sick and makes us not be able to tell what the hell is going on… and all we’re left with is sounds of grunts and swirling images. SO BLOODY ANNOYING!

OVER ALL

Unlike most people, I thought The Condemned had a chance if it just stayed simple, and did what they apparently could do best. But they didn’t. They tried to do something far beyond their talent level and it came across as a messy bad joke. Horrible horrilble movie. Too bad, cause if tey did it right and just kept it simple, it could have been fun. Over all I give “The Condemned” a 2.5 out of 10.

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16 thoughts on “John Reviews The Condemned

  1. it was cool
    he has killed a lot of people but vinne jones was the best one there becase he was very funny and he was cool well thats is it stone cold had went soft in this movie vinne jones did most of the killing that mexion,wife

    the funny bit was went they thought that mouth pice out of the copter on to a spike he was saying he was going to kill them all

  2. I saw this movie on Friday cuz it looked better than Next (apparently I was wrong). Both fuckiing girlfriends annoyed the living hell out of me and they showed the ending in the goddamn trailer. I’d give it a 5/10. Goldie was an awesome character, (taht actor was awesome in hostel too( and Vinnie Jones and that Asian guy he was with were fucking sweet. Action was good in some places, but the camera shook to hell in the beginning and the Scene in the bunker.

    And as a side note, why does the token black guy always have to be a comic relief character. He wasn’t even fucking funny in this movie, but they still used all the token black guy against the world jokes.

  3. Oh, it’s a total rip off Haole, it doesn’t even try to hide that fact. But for some reason I actually enjoyed the hell out of it. Don’t get me wrong, it was a horrible movie, but it was the kind of horrible movie you watch at 2am on basic cable when you can’t sleep.

    It was not as good as First Blood 2, but it was much better than Rambo 3. At least that’s how I felt about it.

    Oh, and the ending sucks. Hard.

  4. My biggest feeling for not wanting to watch this was that for some reason it looked to be a sub par doing of Battle Royale. If anyone has seen The condemmed, how far off is my fear?

  5. Hey Darren,

    I think we need to make a distinction between “Unsteady” camera work (battlestar galactica, Law and Order) and all out SHAKY camera work… where it looks like the poor cameraman is having an epileptic seizure.

    When you can’t tell a damn thing that’s happening on camera because the camera itself is shaking so violently that the picture becomes nothing but a giant blur…. that’s “Shaky Camera Syndrome”

    But you’re right… there is a differece

  6. I haven’t seen the film, but I can guess that the girlfriend did serve a purpose.
    Was she hot?

    Okay, tthe only purpose.

    On another note Gio, I have a slight objection to your description of “the shaky camera syndrome”. It isn’t just bad directors who use this, *good directors* do it sometimes too-just better. The problem is, it is done way too much now. While hand held camera is effective in TV shows such as “Law & Order” (which never goes to wild enough where you really notice it) or “The Shield” (which is more documentary like), or even “BattleStar Galactica” (camera shakes when the cut to space and you see the Battlestar/fleet…never understood why…help me out there someone…) the general reasoning behind it is either to make the film doc-looking, a rare cheap old school trick (earthquake/explosion/impact) or to deliberately keep the viewer disoriented.

    There is a place for hand held, as there is a place for steadicam. The idea is to use it wisely and not to use it just to use it because that’s what everyone else seems to be doing. It could be said that the jerky camera in the picture accounts for the concept of the story (loosely put), but I avioded this film because I’ve seen this picture…by many, many, many other DTV action/martial arts movies, just with different actors and characters.

    Can WWE wrestlers act good enough to be leads? Well, Dwayne Johnson is improving- he was great in “Gridiron Gang”- and some people might point to Roddy Piper in ‘They Live”, although I credit that film mostly due to John Carpenter. I always held the belief that if a director can direct a star who isn’t that great a thespian, and direct them well, then that shows you how good a director they really are. But for the most part, they seem to be better in smaller or supporting roles.

  7. no hold barred is the only movie starring a wrestler worth a damn….

    quite possibly one of the best movies ever made….

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