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How do you make a fortune from the bloodlust of millions? One sadistically savvy businessman (Samuel L. Jackson) has created an empire with his brutal, fight-to-the-death gladiator website. His newest warrior is David Lord (Kellan Lutz), a kidnapped fireman, now imprisoned and forced to fight for his life. To buy his freedom, Lord agrees to do a series of lethal bouts. But as the body count escalates, and with his most challenging battle remaining, Lord unleashes a torrent of bloody carnage and reveals a secret that threatens to tear down the entire enterprise. Also featuring Daniel Dae Kim (TV’s “Lost”) and Nina Dobrev (TV’s “Vampire Diaries”).
About as subtle and refined as a caveman fighting a Hell's Angel, this relentlessly in-your-face martial arts film delivers more than its fair share of rewind-worthy moments. Visual-effects veteran Jonah Loop's directorial debut plays like an easy-reading mash-up of Bloodsport and The Prisoner: after suffering a family tragedy, a firefighter (The Twilight Saga's Kellan Lutz) finds himself held captive in a futuristic jail, where he must fight a never-ending slew of death matches for the amusement of a worldwide web audience. As he struggles to survive, the sadistic creator of the game (Samuel L. Jackson, having a ball) does what he can to worsen the odds. While that description may be more complicated than the actual plot, the brutal choreography and the cast's energy level definitely make up for deficiencies elsewhere: although Lutz mainly acts with his pecs, he's more than compensated for by Jackson gleefully chewing the scenery, brief appearances from genre stalwarts James Remar and Lost's Daniel Dae Kim, and a terrific secondary bad guy in Johnny Messner, who all but spits venom at the camera when ticked off. Those looking for logic and continuity in their action movies need not apply, but for all of its clumsiness, Arena displays a firm knowledge of what exactly makes an exploitation flick hum: whenever it spies a chance for something gratuitous, it doubles down. --Andrew Wright
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David Lord is a fireman. He's having a bad day. First he found out the hard way that Wheaties although the breakfast of champions, causing violent rectal out bursts. He was playing soccer, after losing he decided to go for ice cream. Some cars cause a terrible accident. Pregnant Girlfriend dies. He picked the wrong day too quit drinking. On a drunken shopping spree he purchased bus tickets to Old Mexico.
He gets a cheap motel, and a cheaper bottle of tequila. It was so cheap the worms were still moving in the liquor. He polishes off a bottle, and decides to hit up the town to celebrate his wife's passing. He decides to go to the bar. He don't know how to speak Spanish. He orders Uno macho grande tequila bottle, he tilts his head back and boom. Just like that he became a human funnel. His bladder close to bursting, he asks where the crapper is. New friends join him in the crapper for a game of patty cake.
His new friends got mad when David kept beating them. He puts his new buddy threw the door. Meets his new handler, she promises booty, and gives him static. Bad dreams, is it real? Yes and Davids new name is now Death Dealer. Ancient dog fighting strategy is used to implore honed killer instincts. Now he's put in some blue screen computer generated arena. Your only object is Win and live, or Lose and die. Makes new fighter friend, kills new fighter friend. Fighting his way to the championship round to face Mr. Executioner. FBI come on down, awesome plot revelation. Fireman is FBI Agent.