Welcome to the third installment in my “Prove I’m Not Gay” movies, following the back to back reviews of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Sex and the City. This particular movie could be argued as being the anti-chick flick. Make a movie that includes almost every action star you could think of, add lots of explosions, forget to write a story, and even throw in a little love story for no reason and you have this movie. This movie is The Expendables, starring … well … think of an action movie star and input their name here. And, just to be helpful, it stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, David Zayas, Steve Austin, Charisma Carpenter, Eric Roberts, Giselle Itie, and have Arnold Schwarzenegger (yeah, I copied it off of a website. Who wouldn’t?), Bruce Willis, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Any action stars you thought of that weren’t here will probably be in the sequel.
This story should be easy enough. Stallone, Statham, Crews, Li, Lundgren, and Couture are the Expendables, an elite group of mercenaries. In the beginning, they get onto a boat and kill a bunch of pirates holding hostages. Lundgren goes a little nuts and tries to “break” someone, and if he dies, he dies. Rambo has to kick him out of the group. Then the Transporter’s girlfriend dumps him for a douche. Black Mask wants more money. Couture is sad about his ear. Crews makes his tittie muscles dance. So McClane gives Rocky a mission to kill a general somewhere and John Matrix turns down the mission. So Judge Dredd and Chev Chelios go there and find out Eric Roberts, with his bodyguard Stone Cold Steve Austin, are really bad, and Cobretti falls in love with the general’s daughter. Then they go back and kill everybody.
This movie is exactly what everyone expects it to be. Dumb but exciting. There is kind of a story to this movie, but it’s very typical and entirely predictable. Surprising as it may be, Stallone actually has the ability to write some good dialogue from time to time. He didn’t do that here. It’s either really cliched or very confusing. There were times that I was wondering “Why are they talking about this right now?” And there’s a black guy that’s one of the pirates in the very beginning that both cannot act and cannot be understood. I think that was a wise choice.
The cast is probably the biggest draw of this movie. As I said, practically every living action star is in this movie at one point, and the ones that weren’t probably just couldn’t find the time to get in there. They should’ve just had Van Damme walk by in the background at one point. Sly looks really weird to me in this movie. I know the man’s getting old, but he’s still ripped to shreds in this movie. There are so many veins in this man’s arm that I would argue he had to have some surgically implanted. But his face looks like he’s had Cher-esque work done. The rest of the cast is exactly what you expect from them. Except, maybe, for Jet Li. For some reason, Jet Li gets his ass kicked in this movie by most people. If you ask me, I bet Li could beat down everyone on this cast save for maybe Randy Couture. The other person here is Mickey Rourke, who actually puts on a pretty good, emotion charged performance at one point, regardless to how shitty the dialogue he’s delivering is. You should give the man an Oscar just for that.
The action is the other draw to this movie. The fight scenes are pretty good, though I’d actually expect better from such a cast. But they go more for gun play than for fights. The other nice thing about this movie is that Sly wanted as many of the explosions and action scenes to be practical as they could manage. So the shit that blows up into gigantic fireballs actually happened, and looks like it. Also, I don’t know how he managed, and I believe it started with the newest Rambo, but Sly’s movies pull off some really brutal deaths. I’ve seen it in things since but I don’t remember it before Rambo where it started to look uncomfortably realistic at times. I’m cool with it though. Good work.
So that’s that. As I said, this movie is exactly what you expect of it. It’s kind of worth seeing, but you probably won’t be impacted that much by it. It’s explosions and deaths are cool, but everything else kind of sucks. I give this movie “Rent it once, and then again in a few months when you’ve forgotten everything about it” out of 786.
And, as always, please rate, comment, and/or like this post and others. It may help me get better.