15 March 2013 | rawiri42
Did some people miss the clue?
There are lots of pretty negative reviews of this movie and one has to wonder why those people watched it in the first place. Did they miss the essential clue as to what they would get? The opening credits clearly tell everyone that this a WWE movie. It would seem, therefore, that those who don't like the fake, meticulously staged regular offerings of World Wrestling Entertainment wouldn't want to watch this either. That isn't rocket science - is it?
But no, the wowsers and wet-nellies just HAD to watch it anyway - and then grumble and whinge about gratuitous violence and sadism. If they don't like professional wrestling, then there's a pretty sure chance they're not going to like The Condemned so why did they watch it at all? Mind you, I wouldn't mind betting that, if the story were ever true, those wowsers and wet-nellies would be among the first to sign up to watch the programme on the Internet - and then still complain! It's a bit like the well-known fact that the most vociferous anti-porn campaigners also happen to own the biggest collections of porn! (Of course it's all kept as "proof" of just how corrupted the world is - or so they say!)
OK, getting to this movie for what it is. It is a B-grade action flick with mostly B-grade actors (although there ar a few exceptions to that). Personally, I thought the story concept was quite good. The real protagonist is an entrepreneurial guy who knows that an awful lot of people actually do like gratuitous violence (he probably did research on how many viewers professional wrestling gets) and decides to convert that into a reality show. The problem is that no self-respecting TV network would ever run it and so he resorts to the obvious and puts it, live streaming on the Internet.
Without wanting to introduce any spoilers, I will stick to what the film's own promos state, which is that ten convicted criminals from death-rows around the world (another clever ploy to ensure that the maximum audience can be secured to support "their" champion) are let loose on an island which is rigged with numerous cameras and told that they must each defend themselves against the other nine as only one of them can ultimately survive. The survivor will be freed with a new identity and a big wad of money to go and do whatever he likes. There are a few little "twists" thrown in for good measure and I'll leave those who want to watch it to find out what they are. I found that I was placing myself into the shoes of each of the criminals and wondering how I could make the best of the situation. Of course, the first thing I had to do was remember that I was already sentenced to death and then view the situation from that standpoint. Secondly, I had to remember that my opponents were also killers and thus there was no room for compassion on either their parts or mine.
With that frame-of-mind established, I found myself entering into the story with a different attitude than I would have had it been presented differently. I was reminded of "Running Man" as far as the plot went but the difference was that this movie is set in the present and, as such, was (with some imagination) "believable."
OK, 'nuff said. If you don't mind action with lots of violence, then you will probably enjoy The Condemned. If you like Mary Poppins and romances, then don't watch this movie. Simple really!