The Condemned (2007)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Escape Film  |   Release Date - Apr 27, 2007 (USA)  |   Run Time - 113 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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For their third foray in muscle-bound moviemaking, WWE Films turned to their old beer-swilling champion Steve Austin to bust some heads in The Condemned, easily one of the most depraved mass-marketed action flicks ever to hit the theaters. Rape and torture are on the bill for this hunk of hulking junk, with characters continually pleading for their lives as almost every one of them eventually gets snuffed out. Even the most diehard action loyalists will find it hard to sit through the indecipherable shaky camerawork on display here, never mind the complete loss of any rousing moments for them to latch onto. Instead, the movie presents seething millionaires and psychopathic villains for Austin to knock heads with -- which, even then, is only entertaining in the very last few minutes when things get overly asinine. WWE apparently felt that their previous film, The Marine, was too tame in its PG-13 rating, though they missed the fact that at least that film had fun with the genre. Quite simply, there is no fun to be had here. Interestingly enough, despite the high doses of excessive brutality on display, the film even tries the whole message-movie route, which, thanks to not one brain behind the production, would make the entire mess laughable if it weren't so entrenched in its own mean-spiritedness. By the time a reporter tells the film's reality-show viewers that they're all "The Condemned" for buying into this, she's totally right -- only it's the moviegoing audience that will be condemned to remember this piece of loathsome trash.