WWE Wrestling guru Vince McMahon tries yet again in vain to find the next “Rowdy” Roddy Piper of the acting world with this weak action/sci-fi/thriller.
Basically if you put The Running Man, No Escape and The Most Dangerous Game in a blender and hit the puree button and drained them of any fun, The Condemned is what you would get.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin stars as a grumpy faced convict who is sent along with nine other death row prisoners to a remote island where the goal is to kill each other and be the last man standing. The island is rigged with cameras to capture all the action and the “event” is streamed worldwide onto computer screens everywhere. The convicts are all saddled with explosive shackles and when they lose their fights they go boom-boom. Vinnie (X-Men 3) Jones is the only other recognizable convict in the bunch.
The biggest problem with the movie is that we don’t care about any of the characters. We’re supposed to be rooting for Stone Cold, but he has all the screen presence of a tree trunk. Likewise, the other nine contestants are all interchangeable hard asses and we really couldn’t give two shits if any of them lived or died. Same goes for the fight scenes. Two dudes fight. One dude blows up. Repeat. It gets a little monotonous. The only other person who has an ounce of charisma is Jones, but even his character is thoroughly unpleasant.
Another problem I had with this flick is that it runs nearly TWO HOURS. I’m sorry, but there is no reason in Hell a movie starring a professional wrestler has to run more than 90 minutes. The “message” of the movie (reality TV is bad) is as heavy handed as a fistful of rocks and the film’s real villain, a smarmy TV producer is a thousand times more grating than any of the contestants.
The dude who directed this movie is named Scott Wiper. That’s fitting because if you wiped your ass with a bunch of celluloid, the results would probably closely resemble this movie.
Come back Roddy, we miss you.