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Action - Arena

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Arena
Samuel L. Jackson, Kellan Lutz
Directed by Jonah Loop
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2011
94 minutes

Remember Roman gladiators? The emperor of Rome had the last say on who lives or who dies at the end of a fight. Imagine this in a modern setting, in an illegal online reality show where Internet voters get the same powers without really knowing whether it's all real or just special effects. If you're hooked, read on.

The DVD Arena features Kellan Lutz in the role of a firefighter/paramedic named David Lord from Denver who gets kidnapped while on a trip to Mexico. He then discovers that this "reality show" is for real. David will have to fight in this arena to survive. It's either kill, or be killed in this type of event.

Rich people pay to gamble on who will be the next winner or loser in this online show organized by a rich Machiavellian character portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson in the movie.

All this sets the stage for plenty or fight scenes complete with blood and gore, but it also shows human nature at its primal stages, with all the good and bad to be expected; it shows testosterone, human feelings varying from despair, love and hate, revenge and the fight versus good and evil.

If some scenes seemed predictable at the beginning of the movie, later on in the story there are some good twists in the plot of this story. Yes, David develops a nemesis type of relationship with one of his captors, and we know good guys usually win these types of confrontations. Nevertheless, it's not all black and white in this story. The visual effects are stunning to the point that it really seems real in some scenes.

There aren't any bonuses on the Arena DVD, but the story is good enough for me to recommend watching this movie.

Vincent Lemire

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