Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: Steve Austin, Vinnie Jones, Robert Mammone, Rick Hoffman, Tory Mussett
Director: Scott Wiper
Release Date: 27 April 2007
Length: 113 minutes
Movie Rating: R
View Format: TV
My Rating: 3/5 stars
“While waiting out a death sentence in an infamous Central American prison, hard-boiled convict Jack Conrad (retired professional wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin) is surprised to learn he’s been bought by a reality show mogul who wants to cast him in his latest project. His assignment? To join nine other convicted murderers on the shores of a deserted island, where they’ll fight to the death for the title of sole survivor.” — Netflix.com
This movie was a surprisingly good action-thriller. Truthfully, I was not expecting it to be any good at all, but it was on TV and I thought I would give it a try. I almost stopped watching it at the beginning, as it had a kind of rambling start before the convicts get to the island, but the movie really took off about 20 minutes in. The plot is simple: 10 convicted killers are dropped on an island and told that the last survivor will be freed. There are eight men and two women from virtually every major continent in the world so that online viewers will all have someone to cheer for. The catch – each convict has a plastic-explosive anklet that can be pulled at any time, causing them to explode in 10 seconds. And the producer of the show (Robert Mammone) decides to create further drama by supplying former-special-ops agent (Vinnie Jones) with weapons to stack the odds in his favor. But, wait! What no one counts on is Steve Austin, a killer with a conscience who refuses to play by the rules! So, yeah, the movie plot does not feature anything new or original. You can guess where it is going right when the action starts, but I just sat back and enjoyed the ride.
The acting is not very strong in this movie, but the characters were not given a lot of development and so strong actors were not really needed. I did appreciate the fact that the director tried to give the killers a tiny bit of depth and show that, even though they were on death row, they were not all raving psychotic murderers. There were a few of the contestants that were crazy killers who seemed willing to mow down anyone in their paths, but the others seemed like regular people who took a wrong turn somewhere along the way in their lives. This made the movie more interesting as I found myself liking some of them and kind of rooting them on, while disliking others and kind of waiting for them to be picked off. The biggest villain of the entire film was the producer, played by Robert Mammone. He thought that anything was justified so long as the ratings were there. In his mind, there was no difference between these killers waiting for death in prison and brutally fighting for a chance at life on a secluded island where their battles were broadcast worldwide as entertainment. I am not sure if they were trying to push a message that our entertainment is too violent or that they are concerned where reality TV is going or what. I didn’t really get enough of a vibe either way to clarify that angle. I know that I was disgusted with the producer and was kind of hoping that he would regret his decision at the end. What I also know is that the internet is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing for the information it provides and the personal connections you can find, but a curse because it is very hard to police and monitor. So this movie was a bit thought-provoking as well as being mildly entertaining.
If you have the chance to watch this movie on TV and like action movies, you will probably like this one. If you take movies seriously, you may not want to watch this as you will worry about where entertainment is going and if our movie industry is going too far. Still, it was a decent action movie and I enjoyed it for what it was.
This movie features a lot of death, a lot of fighting, and a lot of violence. There are scenes of torture, rape and attempted rape. I watched this movie on TV, but I can tell that they blipped out a lot of strong language. Even thought I watched this movie on TV, I do not think that it was edited enough for younger viewers. On TV, I recommend this movie for ages 16 and up, on DVD, I recommend this movie for ages 18 and up.