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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Locked Down

November 6th, 2010

Locked Down - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

Locked Down is the latest film from TapouT, a major brand in the MMA field with a clothing line, a TV show, and of course a movie line. This one was written, directed, and produced by Daniel Zirilli , who has made a career of making such films, including Circle of Pain, which I previously reviewed. So how does this one compare?

The Movie

The biggest name in the film is Vinnie Jones, who plays Anton Vargas, an inmate at a prison where underground fighting takes place. However, he's more of a supporting character in the movie. The real star of the movie is Tony Schiena, who plays Danny, an undercover narcotic cop, whose latest investigation ends in tragedy. In the aftermath, he's setup to look corrupt and that he orchestrated this tragedy to kill off the criminal he was working with, and the cop that was on his trail. Despite he's pleas of innocence, he is quickly sent to prison, the same prison where Anton is. Now he has to deal with a prison population that wants him dead, corrupt guards (like Bai Ling), before being forced to fight. And he has to do all of this while trying to clear his name.

The plot is essentially one prison cliché after another, with a few training montages thrown in to mix it up. The acting mostly ranges from mediocre to distractingly bad, but that is to be expected with this type of movie. There are a number of fights in the film, including an early gun battle, but too often the director went to slow-motion for style. I would really like this visual cliché to go away. Hell, I could have really done without all of the visual flare that was inserted into this movie. It was just a distraction.

Compared to Circle of Pain, this direct-to-DVD movie is less ambitious, as it doesn't try to have an emotional core. This also means it doesn't fail at trying to build an emotional core for the movie. It is acceptable low expectations theater, but that's it.

The Extras

I only have the DVD to review, which has an audio commentary track, 4 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage, a 2-minute featurette on fight choreography, and six short interviews with some of the cast and crew. The audio commentary track isn't overly easy on the praise, which is a point in its favor, but it isn't that insightful either. As for the rest, they are individually too short to add up to much. Then again, a lot of direct-to-DVD releases have no extras, so this is better than nothing.

I don't have the Blu-ray to compare, but it only costs $2 more on, which is a price that is hard to beat.

The Verdict

Locked Down isn't memorable enough to warrant repeat viewing, but if you are a fan of the genre the DVD or Blu-ray is worth a rental.

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