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The Condemned in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The Condemned

Steve Austin • Vinnie Jones
DIRECTOR: Scott Wiper

Steve Austin with director Scott Wiper on set THE CONCEPT:
A group of death-row prisoners from around the world, including Jack Conrad (world wrestling superstar Steve Austin) and Ian McStarley (British football star Vinnie Jones) are ‘purchased’ by a wealthy television producer to take part in an illegal reality game show. Brought to a desolate island, they must fight to the death, while millions watch the uncensored violence on the Internet, with the last remaining prisoner gaining freedom.

U.S. RELEASE: April 28 2007, Nationwide • Rated: R


“When Steve and I got together, we really hit it off. I got very excited about the project and pitched the producers my ideas, which involved making the whole game illegal and for the Internet. From there, Steve and I hammered out the ideas together and eventually had the final draft ready to shoot.”

“At the top level of professional wrestling, you don’t choreograph anything, it’s a loose brawling style, unlike the technical fighting aspect a guy like Jack Conrad should have for his military background. I had to learn a new fighting style and remember the choreographed fight move for move, and it was very frustrating.”

“Steve and I went out to Australia early (to work out), because the stunt guy, Richard Norton, said to us, ‘Do you want the camera in close and fight each other for real 75% of the time, or do you want us to pull the camera back out there and have stuntmen do it?’ We both wanted to go for it. I said, “Steve, the adrenaline on the day gets you through it.’ There’s a couple of scenes there where he’s got me and he’s pounding me, we’re really going at it but we’re going at it.”

“It was fun working with Vinnie because the guy’s a riot. He’s a walking wise guy, so we had a lot of fun pulling jokes behind the scenes. But he’s a great guy to work with and I had fun fighting him. I think he got a couple of bumps and bruises, that was my fault, but that’s kind of the way The Condemned happened.”

“I didn’t want to use effects, so when you see Steve with a hundred-meter cliff behind him, he’s really up there. Or a fight through a steep waterfall – that was all real. Often, the only thing between the actors and a very long drop was a little cable.”

“I think the audience loves a good baddy. They love to hate you. I said to Steve that for me this movie, if they cheer him and boo me we’ve done our job.”

“I’m very proud of this movie, I’m proud of my performance, but I’ve got a lot to learn.”

“[Making an action movie] was always my number one priority. On the other hand, I think the great action movie has to, on some level, act as a cautionary tale about violence. There’s certainly a theme in this story about the dangers of violence on television and in video games. But overall I wanted this movie to take the audience on one hell of a ride.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official The Condemned site
Images above © Lionsgate
Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #683, June 2007 cover

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