Movies: The Condemned
There's something seedy about a WWE-produced flick that I just can't put my finger on. Maybe it's the fact that all the women are not only photogenic (as would be expected in a major motion picture), but have inordinately large breasts; maybe it's that every guy looks like he's been pumping iron (and 'roids) for a while. It's probably just the inane story that does it, though:
Starring "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, "The Condemned" is a near-remake of the film "Battle Royale." Everything from the cult Japanese film is duplicated here - the time limit, the exploding collars for disobedience, and even some of the characters (there's a good guy, a sadistic killer, and a femme fatale). Unfortunately, where the Japanese film was uncompromising in its violence and depravity (the scene where a bunch of paranoid schoolgirls start shooting each other up is insanely funny, if you enjoy dark humor), "The Condemned" plays out so predictably that it's tedious.
Stone Cold's in no danger of winning an Oscar here, and the smile he ends the movie on is hilarious because it's so forced and awkward. And hey, you knew he was going to survive the whole movie, since it's a WWE flick, and they wouldn't dream of killing off their pro wrestler headliner. Vinnie Jones has made a career out of being a tough SOB, too, so he works pretty well as an antagonist in the story. Honestly, though, without these two heavies chewing up the screen, the movie would be pretty much unwatchable.