If you were not eagerly anticipating the release of the Expendables (staring virtually every action star in this history of everything forever) odds are good that you either have a vagina or have had at least two different cocks in your mouth during the course of your life. Just to humor the female and effeminate, lets review the basic premise of the movie based solely on the previews:
- TRANSPORTER AND JET LI
- RAMBO VS IVAN DRAGO
- CHEESBURGER EDDIE WITH AN AUTOMATIC SHOTGUN
- RAMBO IN A CHURCH WITH TERMINATOR AND JOHN MCCLAIN
- CAUSE STONE COLD SAID SO
- MICKEY ROURKER IS A BAD ASS WITH HEARTFELT WORLDLY KNOWLEDGE
Honestly, having an old school style action movie with some of the biggest action stars of the past 30 years, meant that this could be a movie where I could just turn off my brain and just sit back and be entertained. I read that when Stallone had first started writing and shooting this movie he wanted it to be a straight comedy similar to Tropic Thunder. Early on he dropped this when he realized that making an action movie constantly funny is extremely difficult.
I think that there were a few small parts in the movie where you could see the remenents of the original straight comedy script. Sometimes it worked and added some well timed humor that makes a movie like this great. Two or three times however the jokes fell flat and seemed cheesy. … which now that I think about it, would also be a staple of most 80’s action movies.
So as expected the non action parts had both good and bad dialog. In fact I would say that the dialog from Mickey Rourke was excellent when Rourke’s character explained how the life he had led had destroyed his soul. The polar opposite of this could be seen in Arnold’s dialog and lines in the church scene with Stallone and Rambo.
Dialog aside there is also the matter of the non action based sub plots. Insert a crazy hot love interest.
This movie either needed to add more detail to this story or make it a lot shorter and more obvious. As it played out on the screen it took up just enough time to kind of get interested, but not enough time for it to feel compelling. These criticisms could also be leveled at the sub plot with Dolf Lungren who played a surprisingly larger role than I had anticipated. His story involved him dealing with a drug problem, becomming a loose cannon and getting kicked off his team, struggling to find a place in the world, siding with some bad guys, turning on his life long friends, and finally getting redemption as he laid bloody and dieing.
All of that took place in about 20 minutes of screen time, which means that all of this was rushed and it was hard to really care about “Gunner” as a character.
But who care, this is an action movie, and the actual action was very awesome. Not the most awesome action ever, but they did do one thing very very well. They gave each guy at least one big moment. Even the bad guys had a moment like when Stone cold beat up Stalone. Here’s my list of favorite kick ass moments.
- Cheeseberger Eddie/Terry Cruse mows down the bad guys with the automatic shot gun when his buddies are pinned down
- Jet Li and Stratham double team a minor boss (video game term that seems appropriate) and finish him by Jet breaking his neck with a viscous kick
- Stalone letting loose with full auto on his hand gun as he reloads with almost no pause
- Jet Li kicks the shit out of Dolph Drago
- Drago shakes off the ass whopping from Jet and tosses him around like a giant russian tossing around a tiny chinnaman
- Stratham and Stallone destroy the dock (I’d explain how this happened but it was too awesome for words… and kind of hard to explain quickly)
So lets wrap up this review by talking about the ending…. it kind of sucked. All the good guys, and even quasi good guys lived, and had a knife throwing party. One of the good guys should have died at the very least, or at the veryest leastest Lundgren should have died after he was shot right by the heart and told he was dying.
I give this move 8 out of 10 intimidating Bruce Willis Stares