THE EXPENDABLES (2010)


 Greetings again from the darkness. Well since I got pressured into posting full comments for Eat Pray Love, I figured it was only fair that I also post comments for the other half of my “Cinematic Battle of Estrogen vs. Testosterone.”  The most difficult movies to comment on are those in which even the filmmakers don’t take themselves seriously. Here, Sylvester Stallone creates a movie with his tongue firmly planted in his plastic surgery-enhanced cheek. It is a bit goofy and meant to be so. The good stuff is actually pretty good, but the stuff that misses the mark is a bit painful to watch.

The good stuff includes the already infamous cameo scene with Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It has the single best line (maybe two) in the movie and it’s just great to see Arnie back on screen. The other funny touch is the character names: Barney, Christmas, Ying Yang, Gunner, James Munroe, Toll Road, Paine, Hale Caeser, and of course, Tool. More work might have gone into the character names than the balance of the script.

The parts that don’t work include the lame one-liners that Jason Statham is forced to recite throughout. Also, after all these years, Stallone remains in love with his own face. I believe he is off screen for a total of 3 minutes. And enough with the Jet Li short jokes. One was plenty. We could have really used more of Terry Crews. He lights up the screen when he starts his trail of destruction.

Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture and David Zayas all have their moments. But therein lies the problem. Just can’t do justice to so many characters … or is it caricatures? This one is exactly what it was meant to be. Don’t expect the world’s greatest action film. Think of it as more of a Tribute Film with non-stop stunts. Oh and a blasting version of “Mississippi Queen” by Mountain with Leslie West.

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