(Vinnie Jones, Rick Hoffman, Robert Mammome, Luke Pegler, Madeline West, et al / R / 84 mins / LGF)
Overview: Jack Conrad ("Stone Cold" Steve Austin) sits on death row, but is offered an unusual opportunity to rejoin the living. What he has to do is get sent to a tiny remote island where he must fight other convicted killers in a huge battle royale where the last man standing is given a pardon, all the while the entire event is captured for a reality TV show.
Verdict: Oh dear ... oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! 'The Condemned' (come on, you know the joke punchline is coming - you knew that from the start when you read the title of the damn movie!) should have been condemned to fight for space on the DVD shelves rather than be thrust upon unsuspecting moviegoers! It unashamedly aims for nonstop thrill rides every few minutes, but for all its brainless brawn it has plenty of boring stops and few real thrills. Oh, and don't feel guilty for enjoying the violence as that's truly all there is on display anyway!
The concept behind 'The Condemned' — using cons or other degenerates to participate in televised combat — has been thrown around for a while (most noticeably in the Japanese bloodbath Battle Royale), but in light of the unfortunate reality-TV boom and our culture’s heightened sense of voyeurism, it still seems relevant. Given the chance, would we watch real wholesale slaughter? Considering trends in torture porn and internet depravity, we probably would. Should we go and pay $9.00 each plus snacks at our local theatre though ... that's the bigger question?! Bigger question yes, but with such a smaller answer ... NO!
Events play out as you’d expect: The psychos happily begin skewing and asploding one another with stylish glee, until our man Steve turns the tables on both the mean convicts and the show’s sadistic producer. For my money, the only bright light of hope for the film was Vinnie Jones; easily one of the best villains I’ve seen in a while. He’s incredibly hate-able, and yet you quickly grow to detest him! But you get more and more into it, he’s almost someone you root for because of his mean streak. Shame that couldn't be said for the movie in general!