Screen Gems Movie Reviews
with Kennie Bass. You'll find it First On Fox!

The Condemned April 27, 2007
The Condemned
Studio: Lionsgate
Rating: R for pervasive strong brutal violence, and for language.

Another pro wrestler makes his movie debut.

Stone Cold Steve Austing tries to deliver a "stunner" with the release of "The Condemned."

Our hunger for reality television doesn't seem to be slowing down. So a shady TV executive comes up with an idea for a show he thinks will be a smash hit. Ian Breckel (Robert Mammone) travels around the world buying the freedom of ten men and women who are on death row.

But there is a catch. Breckel takes the group to a deserted island where he tells the men and women that it is kill or be killed. All of the action will be streamed over the worldwide web. For a hefty fee, of course.

The plot is simple. Nine will die. One will live and walk away with their freedom.

As the story gets going, Jack Conrad (Austin) quickly becomes one of the favorites. He's probably the best of a bad lot but Conrad is still not a very nice guy. And he definitely wants to be the last person standing when the show comes to a close.

"The Condemned" is a violent movie with a plot lifted from other films which managed to tell the story in a more entertaining manner. In addition to its gratuitous death and destruction it tries to deliver a message about morality. The lesson is that television executives only put on what people really want to see even if it has no redeeming value.

But the high-minded ideals spouted at various times don't hide what is really going on. This is a story of video voyeurism at its worst as people tune in to watch uncensored death. Some of the fights are entertaining but overall the movie doesn't deliver as many thrills as you might expect.

Vinnie Jones co-stars as one of the tough guys. Coming off of his role as the Juggernaut in "X-3," he's probably the best actor in the bunch. But with this crew that's not saying very much.

On my rating scale, "The Condemned" earns a Single.

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