The Condemned. Steve Austin is busy taking in the riches of podcasting though and was unavailable for the sequel. Instead we get WWE Studios’ back-up veteran, Randy Orton. He has experience in the direct-to-video sequel market after his lead performance in 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded, and now he and also 12 Rounds 2 director Roel Reine team up once again for 2015’s The Condemned 2 (trailer).
I was actually a fan of the original Condemned film and its premise where it stuck eight convicted felons on a remote island in order to fight for their freedom. The sequel switches things up a bit. Randy Orton portrays Will Tanner, who leads a team of Bounty Enforcer Agents (wait a sec, is this actually the follow-up to Bounty Hunters?) in a routine mission that terribly goes awry. Tanner winds up shutting down the bounty hunter team and attempts to live life on the straight and narrow with his dad (Eric Roberts).
After several months go by a former foe by the name of Raul (Steven Quezada) comes up with a plan to exact revenge on Tanner. Raul accomplishes this by kidnapping family members of his former squad mates and forces them to kill Tanner within a certain time window or else their loved ones bite the bullet. To make Raul extra slimy, he is filming all this live with the latest hi-tech drones broadcasting to an ensemble of fellow criminals to make bets on the winner, complete with customized betting felts with all the squad members’ names.
12 Rounds 3: Lockdown last month I went into this without watching a preview and was thrown off yet again when WWE retooled the premise for this film.
I do not think Reine was going for unintentional camp in this action flick, but there are several moments of unintended levity that got me cracking up for the wrong reasons. I like the concept of the drones being constantly on the prowl to track Tanner’s every move, but whenever the camera cuts to a shot of the drones and attempts to make them look ever-so-menacing I could not help but get flashbacks of those awful CGI birds in Birdemic which resulted in the same effect here where the drones looked more laughable than sinister. Additionally, there were far too many shots of the criminals looking extraordinarily criminal-ly placing bets on that silly makeshift gambling board. Whenever Tanner would manage to bide some more time and escape a deadly encounter there would be another ironic shot to the criminals slamming their fist down and screaming expletives. I have no idea how the betting system for this game Raul is hosting works, but in a cooky-DTV-B-action movie way it delivered on all ironic fronts. Also, props to Raul for working in a throwaway line of dialogue that officially linked this film to the story of the first Condemned.
Minus the nice looking overhead drone camera work, you can tell The Condemned 2 wears its DTV budget like a badge of honor. There are some nice shootouts and explosions, especially some nice sniper skirmishes, but overall they pale in comparison to the first film that is nearly a decade old. There is a short extra feature detailing the special effects that went into the drone camera work and after watching it I could not help but think that is where half the budget went into. There is one other short extra feature about the fight choreography and that is it for extras on the BluRay.
Other Random Backlog Movie Blogs
12 Angry Men (1957)
12 Rounds 3: Lockdown
21 Jump Street
Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie
Atari: Game Over
The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Cabin in the Woods
Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Clint Eastwood 11-pack Special
Field of Dreams
For Love of the Game
Good Will Hunting
Man of Steel
Marine 3 & 4
Running Films Part 1
Running Films Part 2
ScoobyDoo Wrestlemania Mystery
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Star Trek I-XII
Take Me Home Tonight
The Tooth Fairy 1 & 2
The Wrestler (2008)
X-Men: Days of Future Past