Arena (2011) Samuel L. Jackson, Kellan Lutz, Johnny Messner, Katia Winter, Daniel Dae Kim, James Remar, Movie Review

Arena (2011)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Kellan Lutz in Arena (2011)

More Blood Sport

Logan (Samuel L. Jackson) is the man behind "Death Games" a popular online streaming show where people face off to the death in a new gladiatorial competition. David Lord (Kellan Lutz), a paramedic, finds himself forced to participating in this modern gladiator arena and to fight to the death if he is to get back to his life after having headed to Mexico on a bender after his pregnant wife died in a car crash.

Now in fairness to "Arena" there is a bit more to the storyline than that and maybe you can read between the lines of that synopsis to maybe spot some of the variations. In fact for those who look at cast lists will maybe recognize a few names and wonder where they come in to the mix. But truth be told for all the attempts to create depth, character back stories, friendships between fighters and so one doesn't really take your attention off of the basic fact this movie is all about the action.

As such what we get in "Arena" is violence as people do battle in this arena, taking chunks out of each other with the sort of weapons which the old gladiators might have used. And to make this all the more in your face we have the slow motion blood spurts against a dirty sort of backdrop to make it stand out. For some watching the muscular Kellan Lutz slicing up people whilst Samuel L. Jackson gives us another confident evil genius will be enough but for me it needed some thing else which it didn't have.

What this all boils down to is that "Arena" is a middle of the road action movie, using the whole surviving a series of gladiatorial trials storyline and focussing on the blood and the gore to make it work. But it needed more than just this to be more than some thing you find late one night and end up watching as there is nothing else to watch.