- Source: Main Event Radio's Steven Wilson -
This past April, Stone Cold Steve Austin was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, capping off a career that left a huge imprint on the world of professional wrestling. Now with his wrestling career behind him, Austin is attempting to launch a new full time career in the acting world.
Austin’s first foray into the movie business was with the WWE when they produced The Condemned in 2007. The film received a mixed reaction and it did not fare well in the box office, Personally I think the film should of done a bit better than it did, but then again I’m a self admitted Austin mark, Although I have heard others say that about every WWE Film which was released in theaters, so perhaps it’s a stigma, people see the name WWE Films and they think to themselves this is going to be some cheesy film made by a bunch of wrestlers. Whether you think The Condemned was a good movie or not, Steve Austin has never been one to quit that easily, so Austin worked out his departure from WWE Films and has set off on his own path, and the first film to be released on that new path is an action flick entitled Damage which wont open in theaters in North America until January, however it has been released on DVD in the United Kingdom.
The film stars Austin as John Brickner, a prison inmate serving 7 years for manslaughter. Brickner apparently choked a man to death and plead guilty. No, this isn’t The Condemned all over again as 4 and a half years later Austin is granted parole and a new leash on life where he plans to seek redemption for his past acts, This is where The Condemned comparison’s end.
Once out of prison, Brickner stats to put his life back together. Finding a job at the local construction site, he gets little respect and little money. Soon enough he falls into a second job as a bouncer at the local bar when he stands up for the lead female character Frankie, who is a smoking hot waitress who gets little respect from the patrons of the bar. Brickner’s imposing physique and obvious skill for fighting catches the eye of Frankie (played by Laura Vandervoort) Soon enough Frankie and friend Reno (played by Walton Goggins) attempt to recruit Brickner into a underground fighting league with promise of major money making potential. Initally Austin’s character shrugs it off as he is attempting to turn over a new leaf. However when the widow of the man Brickner killed contacts him with a way for him to pay his debt to her and her family he quickly finds himself in a situation where he needs money and fast, so into the underground Brickner heads and allows Austin to do what he does best… Whup some butt!
The film itself is not a blockbuster but plays into Austin’s strengths of being a serious/strong character who can fight. Throughout the movie however you do get a sprinkle of other shades of Austin, the actor. Some moments are comedic, others dramatic. Austin does not come off as a superstar, but shows some potential considering this is only his second film.
The movie could of gone down the road of just being all about the fights but it does not sell itself out completely to that theme, instead It opens up just enough to have a story around the actual fight scenes and makes for an enjoyable film.
In regards to the fight scenes they are action packed and action film fans get their dose so to speak as the blood does spill in a variety of different fight scenarios as Austin climbs the ladder of the underground fight scene.
Overall I enjoyed this film for what it is, An independent action film that attempts to tell a story while also giving the action marks what they came for. I think it is slightly better then The Condemned movie because of the fact that it provides more depth around the main subject than the condemned did. I am somewhat surprised that the film has been released on DVD in one part of the world months before it is slated to hit theaters in another. In this day and age that can and will hurt box office business whether it be because of downloads or those paying for duty and shipping fees to have it right away. I think the film is worthy of checking out on DVD but might be a pass when it comes to theatrical viewing but im not a movie industry expert so ill leave that up to them.
Austin is scheduled for a role in The Expendables next summer which stars Sylvester Stallone, he also has a role in a action thriller entitled The Stranger in which an FBI agent is on the chase for a important material witness in a ongoing investigation. Both these roles could be huge steps for Austin’s film career, meanwhile Damage is film that should be regarded as a learning step for Austin as he begins to expand his acting abilities.
Damage is scheduled to be hit theaters in North America on January 28th 2010. For readers in the United Kingdom, the DVD is available now. To read my previous reviews check out www.wrestlingdvdreview.com
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
- Source: Main Event Radio's Steven Wilson -