So, we’ve had sort of a dry run with WWE Films in their straight to DVD releases (Behind Enemy Lings, The Marine 2), and recent non-WWE wrestler led movies (Wrong Side of Town) were less than stellar. So when Stone Cold Steve Austin showed up in another non-WWE flick called Damage, you can say I’m more than skeptical.
Damage puts Austin in the role of a paroled ex-con, trying to make it on the outside. Eventually, he is confronted by the wife of the man he killed, who helped him get paroled to help save her daughter, who needs a transplant. He manages to fall in with Reno(Walter Goggins, The Shield) and Frankie (Laura Vandervoot, Smallville) who recruit Austin to underground fighting for money. Violent antics ensue, and Austin is inexplicitely awesome at fighting.
Vandervoot and Goggins definitely add a bit of legitimacy to this film, and some real acting. The only time I had a real problem with the acting was actually with Austin himself. While mostly a good performance, I thought for a convict, the character could have had a little more edge, like Austin delivered in spades during his initial Stone Cold character development. Maybe a bit of a random observation.
Either way, Austin is definitely one of the fortunate of the wrestlers turning to movies. While The Condemned and Damage haven’t set the world on fire at the box office, they’ve set Austin up as an action star, netting him a role in Expendables with the biggest action guys the movie industry has ever known. He’s no Rock, but that’s the price for being the higher grossing merchandiser of the two.
Damage is good, violent fun that is pretty good by wrestling standards. Rent it, at the very least. I went ahead and gave it 4/5 Zues’s on the new No Holds Barred Scale…