Phil's Review of The Condemned
Well what have we here, an early 'Expendables' type fighter? a 'Battle Royale' copy? or maybe just a 'Running Man' type thriller? well all this and many more films gone before.
The plot...a group of the most violent criminals are hand picked and dumped on a remote island. Each has a small bomb attached to their ankle which will detonate after a certain time limit. They have nothing but their skills to survive and the odd package dropped from a chopper. Only one can be left standing before the time runs out and that last man wins his freedom, FIGHT!!!.
So yes I think we have all seen this before, the general idea, and one can assume it will pretty much be like all the rest. It is a bit like a cheaper, low key, grittier 'Expendables' but with guys that aren't overly famous but a good selection of character hardmen and fighters of you will. Vinnie Jones, Nathan Jones and Austin are the bigger names here whilst other criminals are made up of really well built blokes and some good fighters like Masa Yamaguchi. Of course the plot isn't like the Sly vehicle but it is a nice ensemble of hardasses.
The whole film plays out like one setup after another, one fight, a bit of plot, then another fight etc...The fights vary from pretty cool to nothing much but its all very violent and bloody, not for the PG crowd that's for sure. All the characters have your standard backgrounds, the hero Austin is of course ex-Delta Force whilst Vinnie is ex-SAS gone bad, bog standard military guff really. All the while its watched by the internet crew and their boss who set it all up for profit and morbid kicks...tut tut so naughty.
It does work well really, can't lie, its good fun to watch but obviously stupid. Would they really include women? surely that would be rather unfair. The violence in some parts is quite close to bone really, Vinnie and his partner rape a women to death then find her husband (also a criminal) and burn him to death after beating him half to death!! so yeah bit sick.
You could say its even like 'Call of Duty' or any FPS, but with bloody murder and fights instead of gun runnin'. When the odd help package is dropped into the 'game' it does feel like a videogame of sorts.
Its certainly balls to the wall with guts n headbutts and the perfect action vehicle. Nothing original and no real surprises other than Vinnie being really quite evil, but its undeniably fun despite Austin being a plank and the ending being a big anti climax for the two main guys.