The Condemned

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The Condemned
The-condemned-poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Scott Wiper
Produced by Joel Simon
Screenplay by Scott Wiper
Rob Hedden
Story by Scott Wiper
Rob Hedden
Andrew Hedden
Starring Stone Cold Steve Austin
Vinnie Jones
Robert Mammone
Madeleine West
Emelia Burns
Rick Hoffman
Music by Graeme Revell
Cinematography Ross Emery
Editing by Derek Brechin
Studio WWE Films
Colossal Entertainment
New Wave Entertainment
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release dates
  • April 27, 2007 (2007-04-27)
Running time 113 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $8,642,858[1]

The Condemned is a 2007 American action film written and directed by Scott Wiper. The film stars Stone Cold Steve Austin, Vinnie Jones, Robert Mammone, Madeleine West and Rick Hoffman.

The film centers on ten convicts who are forced to fight each other to the death as part of an illegal game which is being broadcast to the public. The Condemned was filmed in Queensland.[2] Fight choreography was coordinated by Richard Norton, who also stunt doubles for Jones on some scenes.

The film was produced by WWE Studios (then WWE Films) and distributed by Lionsgate on April 27, 2007.

Plot[edit]

Jack Conrad (Steve Austin) is awaiting execution in a corrupt Salvadoran prison. He is "purchased" by a wealthy television producer and transported to a deserted island in the South Pacific along with nine other condemned criminals similarly purchased from prisons around the world. They are "offered" the opportunity to avoid capital punishment and win back their freedom by fighting to the death in an illegal game to be filmed and broadcast live over the Internet.

A bomb is placed on the ankle of every contestant, each featuring a 30-hour countdown timer, and a ripcord that will detonate the bomb after a ten second delay. The winner will have the bomb removed and be given their freedom as well as a pocket full of cash as the prize. Ian Breckel (Robert Mammone), the producer, is aiming for online ratings that equal or beat the latest Super Bowl reception of 40 million television viewers.

As the broadcast progresses, FBI agents discover Conrad's real identity as Jack Riley after a tip from one of Conrad's former classmates. Conrad is discovered to be a former Delta Force operative who was captured on a Black ops mission to El Salvador after bombing a building controlled by drug dealers. Conrad's girlfriend Sarah (Madeleine West) becomes aware of the situation and watches the show at a local bar as it unfolds.

Ewan McStarley (Vinnie Jones) and Saiga (Masa Yamaguchi) team up to remove the competition, while Yasantwa (Emelia Burns) uses her wiles to trick others to their death. After seeing the show's broadcast tower before the show, Conrad infiltrates the tower and calls Sarah, managing to tell her the latitude of the island before he is forced to leave.

After the other seven contestants have died, Conrad is left alone against McStarley and Saiga. He stabs Saiga, and McStarley flees. Eventually, a helicopter drops a shotgun down to McStarley, who uses it to hunt down Conrad. After Conrad falls into a stream, McStarley runs into the cameraman and his armed guard dressed in ghillie suits while searching for Conrad, and shoots them, picking up the guard's MP5 submachine gun.

When McStarley and Conrad meet again, Conrad ends up rolling over a cliff and into a stream to avoid being shot by McStarley's shotgun. Conrad is presumed dead by the fall, and McStarley is declared the winner. As McStarley is being driven to the control tower to collect his prize, Breckel hears that the FBI has sent United States Navy SEALs to take him into custody. After he meets McStarley and de-activates his bomb, he tells him that he will not receive his prize money. Breckel and McStarley fixed the game in his favor in exchange for his freedom and profits. McStarley takes an MP5 from one of the guards, and kills the tech team in the building, one by one, since they truthfully did not know that Breckel is abandoning them all. When he corners Julie, Breckel's girlfriend, he is confronted by Conrad, who shoots him several times after talking briefly. Conrad grabs McStarley's two machine guns and chases down Breckel, who is fleeing the island in a helicopter. After emptying the two guns firing at the helicopter, he is given McStarley's re-activated ankle bomb by Julie. Conrad throws it into the helicopter, which explodes and crashes into a cliff.

The epilogue shows Conrad being driven back to his home in Texas, a free man, and meets Sarah, who presumed him dead after he fell off the cliff in his struggle against McStarley. The film ends with Conrad smiling slowly.

Cast[edit]

  • Stone Cold Steve Austin as Jack Conrad (United States) A former Delta Force operator who was arrested in El Salvador for blowing up a building controlled by drug dealers. He escapes the island successfully.
  • Vinnie Jones as Ewan McStarley (United Kingdom) After four years as a British SAS operative and three "peace keeping" tours of Africa, he torched a Rwandan village, executed 17 men and raped 9 women. Additional counts, charges of torture and mutilation, landed him on death row. He is gunned down by Conrad.
  • Masa Yamaguchi as Go Saiga (Japan) A political assassin by trade, Saiga failed to snipe a prominent Japanese lawmaker, but what landed him on death row was his revenge-inspired killings of 27 soldiers who had allegedly attacked and raped his girlfriend. He is stabbed with one of the bowie knives he gained during a weapons drop by Conrad.
  • Emelia Burns as Yasantwa Adei (Ghana) While traveling through Morocco, Yasantwa moonlighted as a drug runner until her dealers raped her. She fought back, allegedly torturing and murdering her attackers before getting caught and sentenced to death row. She is shot in the back with an arrow by McStarley before committing suicide by activating her own ankle bomb's detonation timer.
  • Manu Bennett as Paco Pacheco (Mexico) Along with his wife and fellow contestant Rosa, Paco was condemned to death row for murder and robbery. Paco had prior charges of grievous bodily harm and conspiracy. His leg is broken during an altercation with McStarley. He is later brutally beaten by McStarley and Saiga, who shoot an arrow into his torso before burning his body.
  • Dasi Ruz as Rosa Pacheco (Mexico) Paco's wife was part of the duo's merciless killing spree, landing her, with her husband, on death row. She is captured by Saiga before being raped and killed by McStarley.
  • Marcus Johnson as Kreston Mackie (United States) He escaped from prison in 2002 and fled to Malaysia. While there, he set up a shop dealing hash and fell in love with a native girl. When she got busted for possession of drugs, she turned him over in exchange for a lighter sentence. Yasantwa makes Mackie believe they will fight together before secretly activating the detonation timer on his ankle bomb.
  • Nathan Jones as Petr Raudsep (Estonia) Also known as "The Russian," he stands 6 feet 10 inches (2.08 m) and weighs 340 pounds (150 kg). A killing machine who is described as a "violent murderer convicted for numerous heinous crimes." While fighting Conrad, the two roll down a mountain before noticing one of their ankle bomb's pull tags has been removed. Conrad notices it's Raudsep's and kicks him off a cliff before the bomb detonates in mid-air.
  • Andy McPhee as Lamont Bruggerman (Germany) Lamont was sentenced to death for crimes that include murder, rape, hate crimes and assault. While attempting to rape Yasantwa, she impales a sharp branch into Helmut's neck before activating the detonation timer on his ankle bomb.
  • Rai Fazio as Teach (Italy) Suspected by authorities to be responsible for the bombing of an Italian nightclub, Teach was eventually charged and sentenced to death for the murders of eight local men over a period of eight months. Upon arriving to the island, he is thrown from the chopper only to land on a sharp piece of wreckage, killing him instantly.
  • Rick Hoffman as Goldman
  • Robert Mammone as Ian Breckel, producer of "The Condemned" online show.
  • Tory Mussett as DJ
  • Sam Healy as Bella
  • Madeleine West as Sarah Cavanaugh
  • Luke Pegler as Baxter
  • Angie Milliken as Donna Sereno

On one of the two DVD audio commentary tracks,[specify] Steve Austin notes that he was originally cast for the villain role of Ewan McStarley (which eventually went to Vinnie Jones) and that the role of Jack Conrad was supposed to be played by one of two stars from Hollywood that Austin chose not to mention.

Soundtrack[edit]

The Condemned (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by Various artists
Released 24 April 2007
Genre Rock
Length 54:53
Label World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

The Condemned (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) was released on April 24, 2007. It was composed by Graeme Revell. It is exclusively available on the iTunes Store.

No. Title Artist Length
1. "Opening Titles (Score)"   Graeme Revell 3:33
2. "Black Betty"   Spiderbait 3:27
3. "Hands of Time"   Groove Armada 4:22
4. "Umbrella"   Chymera 7:23
5. "This Colorful World"   Eliot Morris 4:45
6. "You Say"   Aya Peard 5:01
7. "Casino (Solid State Remix)"   Tommi Eckhardt 5:44
8. "To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High)"   Ryan Adams 3:04
9. "The Island and Conrad (Score)"   Graeme Revell 3:58
10. "Souljacker, Pt. 1"   Eels 3:15
11. "Over & Under"   Egypt Central 3:01
12. "Unbreakable"   Cage9 3:15
13. "I Won't Do What You Tell Me (Josh Wink Remix)"   Josh Wink 3:55
Total length:
54:53
Additional tracks

Other songs featured in the film, but not included on the soundtrack:

Release[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The critical response to the film was overwhelmingly negative. Rotten Tomatoes lists the film with a 16% rating, registering 15 "fresh" reviews out of 95,[3] while Metacritic gives the film a 23% rating.[4] Complaints against The Condemned included accusations of plot holes, overly preachy tone, and massive amounts of violence untempered by comic relief, irony, or plot progression.

V.A. Musetto of the New York Post (considered a "top critic" by Rotten Tomatoes)[citation needed] gave the film zero stars out of four, describing it as a "sickeningly violent and inane movie" and complaining that it is a bad rip-off of Battle Royale and The Most Dangerous Game.[5]

One of the few positive reviews came from Michael Booth of the Denver Post. He described the concept as "The Truman Show meets Con Air" and makes positive notes about the reality television aspects of the story, although he cautions readers not to expect "high art" based on the 3 star rating he gives the film.[6]

Box office[edit]

The film debuted with a $3.8m opening weekend in the US. The film lasted only 4 weeks in theaters and posted a big loss, closing with a total of $7,371,706.[7] The movie fared worse internationally, taking only $1,271,152 in limited foreign markets, for a total of $8,642,858. The film reportedly lost $15,700,000.

Home media[edit]

On September 18, 2007, The Condemned was released on DVD and Blu-ray. Opening at no.4, The Condemned brought in $6,520,918 in the first week. Overall, it has sold an estimated 1.185 million DVD units earning $22,673,378, more than 200% it's box office gross.[7] The majority of WWE Stars' films tend to do poorly at the box office but have a strong following in the home entertainment market.[citation needed]

The Condemned was released in Australia on January 4, 2008, with an MA15+ rating (Strong Violence, Strong Coarse Language). It was released in New Zealand DVD in February 2008 with an R18 rating (Contains Violence and Offensive Language). The DVD made its release in the United Kingdom on March 24, 2008 with a rating of 18 (Contains Strong Violence and Language). This was a straight to DVD release in the United Kingdom.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Condemned at Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 2009-10-31.
  2. ^ "Nine's new drama series to be filmed in Queensland". Carnival Askew. Retrieved 2009-04-27. "In 2006, the company worked on the WWE feature film The Condemned in the Sunshine State" [dead link]
  3. ^ The Condemned (2007) at Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on 2009-10-31.
  4. ^ "Condemned, The". Meta Critic. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  5. ^ V.A. Musetto (April 27, 2007). "Executioner's wrong: Fans condemned to bad cinema.". New York Post. Retrieved 2009-10-31. "Amazingly, "The Condemned" received an R rating, more proof that the censors are more concerned with sex and nudity (there is none here) than violence."  0/4 stars
  6. ^ Michael Booth (2007-04-27). ""Condemned" pins lust for violence to the wall". Denver Post. Retrieved 2009-10-31. "The Deadliest Game has played out many times on screen, including with Arnold Schwarzenegger in a post-apocalypse The Running Man, but rarely is it aimed as squarely at the pitfalls of pop culture as in The Condemned."  3/5 stars
  7. ^ a b The Numbers The Condemned Retrieved on 2009-10-31.

External links[edit]