27 March, 2008

Vinnie Jones vs. Stone Cold Steve Austen

Once upon a time Vinnie Jones played football, now he is a full-time actor flogging what’s left of his ‘hardman’ persona in straight-to-DVD abortions Stateside. Without wanting to over-simplify his body of work to date and do him a disservice by summing it up in one sweeping statement, everything he’s done has been uniformly appalling. Guy Ritchie has a lot to answer for, but at least he seems to have taken the hint and stopped making films.

Not our Vinnie though, who today caught my eye co-staring in yet another terrible American remake of an old actually-quite-good Asian movie, The Condemned. Playing second fiddle to someone who used to be in the WWF (wrestlers not pandas) is normally a pretty big red flag, but since it’s ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, we’ll make a slight exception because he’s actually pretty cool. Other acting luminaries that show up though include the girl who used to Dee in Neighbours (she died after marrying Toady, remember) and the guy who was AK in the two dire Matrix sequels…exciting no?

Anyway, Stone Cold plays Jack Conrad, who is awaiting the death penalty in a corrupt Central American prison when he is bought by a wealthy television producer and taken to a desolate island. Predictably here he must fight to the death against nine other condemned killers from all corners of the world, with freedom going to the sole survivor. Vinnie plays the token Brit with aplomb, bouncing off the A-list cast with snappy dialogue such as:

Stone Cold
: Sounds like you've had a hard life.

Vinnie: Yeah.

Stone Cold: Good thing it's over.

Apparently however, Stone Cold and Vinnie became quite the double-act on set, often riffing when the cameras weren’t rolling. Vinnie referred to Stone Cold as Number 1, while Stone Cold called Vinnie Number 2, as a reference to their advertised billing, but the real fun came when an impromptu prank war started. Highlights of this included Stone Cold constantly putting inflatable sex dolls in Vinnie's trailer (presumably from his own private collection), and also wall-papering the ex-Wimbledon man’s trailer with signed pictures of himself.

Anyway, I guess the point of this is basically just to urge everyone to search out this cracking WWF Films Production (hot on the heels of the equally genre-defining See No Evil - http://imdb.com/title/tt0437179/) and luxuriate in what is Vinnie’s finest on-screen moment to date. Stone Cold steals the show (what else would you expect from someone who has previously acted in more than five episodes of Nash Bridges?) and without spoiling the ‘ride,’ here then are a couple more choice excerpts to further whet your appetite:

The guy from the shit Matrix sequels: What were you doing in El Salvador?

Stone Cold: Working on my tan.

The guy from the shit Matrix sequels: Why did you blow that building up?

Stone Cold: It was blocking my sun.

The guy from the shit Matrix sequels: Where do you live?

Stone Cold: Alaska.

The guy from the shit Matrix sequels: Whereabouts in Alaska?

Stone Cold: In a little fishing town…you probably heard of it, its called FUCK YO MAMA.