The Expendables (2010)
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Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, David Zayas, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brittany Murphy, Gary Daniels, Hank Amos, Amin Joseph, Aaron Aguilera, Alexander Asefa, Johann Benét, Denise Blasor, Ross Francis, Gino Galento, Topher Jones, Jade Michael LaFont, David Joseph Martinez, Ravi Shankar, John Smith, Paul Vasquez, Van White, James Hébert, Ace LeBleu, James Logan, Charisma Carpenter, Giselle Itié, Lauren Jones, Michael August, John Baran, James Logan, Jonathan Nogueira, Luiz Henrique Nogueira, Marcio Rosario, Senyo Amoaku, Don Cano, Rytik Rangroo, Tze Yep
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Favorite Movie Quote: "I'm getting a text"
A few months ago, I was lamenting over the lack of real men action heroes. Well, move over, Angelina. Step aside, Milla. And Rose, Michelle, Drew, Cameron, and Lucy, you've got to take the back seat again! Sly, Jason, Li, Dolph, Steve, Mickey, Randy, and Terry were big, sweaty, gassy, muscled, hard-living, hard-drinking, hard-farting, take-no-prisoner he-men in the Sylvester Stallone action movie. The EXPENDABLES. There will be a new picture in Webster's Dictionary under the term "Action Movie," and it will be the poster for this movie.
Okay, the plot: Sly heads up a manly group of mercenaries called The Expendables. No real back story on why they're called that - they just are. They are a group of manly men who gather for their social meetings at a very manly Chopper Garage/Tattoo parlor run by very manly Mickey Rourke. They are recruited by Bruce Willis to take out a Latin American dictator running a heroin operation. The kicker is that the whole operation is masterminded by Eric Roberts, a former CIA operative assigned to destroy the operation, but in his words, "saw the bigger picture." As with all action movies, the real motivation becomes personal, and our mercenaries very easily transition into heroes. They destroy the operation (no real spoiler here), save the girl and win the day. Roll credits.
The EXPENDABLES is not your granddaddy's action movie, though many of the stars do qualify for Social Security. No, our heroes each have their own personal demons to contend with, and unlike Cobra or Conan or Marv, these heroes share their feelings. These manly men share a deep, unexplained bond, and even though they didn't always see eye-to-eye, they will, and did, put themselves on the line for each other. At one point in the movie, Rourke's character even musters up a tear! It's the A-Team for the Alan Alda generation. But that in no way deters from the action. What I found interesting is that the body count almost equals the bullet count. The characters preferred to get up-close and personal to get their violence on, using hand-to-hand combat and knife work to up the body count. Don't get me wrong; the bullets did fly, and the big guns - literally- were put to use.
It also featured a version of the Spike TV's MANSWERS. For instance: What would a movie featuring the original owners of Planet Hollywood look like? How would a fight between 6'5" Dolph Lundren and 5'61/2" Jet Li end up? (his character's name is Ying Yang - how did he agree to that???) How about a fight between former WWE champion Steve Austin and former UFC champion Steve Couture? Can Jason Statham use anti-personnel artillery while perched outside a flying Sea Plane? All these visuals are answered, and then some. Director Stallone used surprising restraint in choreographing this film. The first major explosion didn't occur until almost an hour into the movie. The wetworks for the movie seemed to imitate the scenes in RAMBO. Much viscous blood and dismemberment was the theme for the violence.
The movie had everything - violence, body count, hand-to-hand, explosions, water boarding, a b*tchin' Southern Rock soundtrack, and men, men, men. There were only two women featured in the movie, and in the spirit of old-school action movies, they were relegated to secondary, no third-level story development. Don't expect much from Willis or Schwarzenegger; they are there just for a tease. There is rich material for a sequel, however. Maybe they'll explore one the the side stories, specifically, relationship between Statham and Charisma Carpenter, or include Ah-Nuld after he leaves office.
I would have preferred to have seen the movie other than the Mommy Matinee showing. Though I usually complain about the deafening factor, it was missed. You get more of the visceral interaction when the bombs knock you out of your seat and the bullets snap at your ears. Still, it was a popcorn-munching, very enjoyable film that completely satiated by yearning for he-man action.
And I didn't exactly mean Dolph Lundren.
On my new rating scale of with 5 being drop everything and see the movie now; if you're female, bear the producers' children and 0 being burn down the theater, murder the movie staff, and violate their dog, this movie rates a 4, Maybe 4 1/2, depending if you wanted to see the old guys show you how it's done. The rating may be a little inflated; I came into the movie wanting to like it, and since there were no major faux pas, it fulfilled my quota of action. As an epilogue, Thin Lizzy's "The Boys are Back in Town" blared during the credits.
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Aug 20, 2010 7:57 AM
|To go or not to go? And movie tix cost + drinks + popcorn mean taking out a second mortgage? Thanks Mike. I'll wait for the DVD.|
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