Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Indispensable Expendables

The Verdict: 

Forget the plot.
The point of seeing the Expendables, Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Randy Couture, Terry Crews and Dolph Lundgren is to see them kick ass together.
Then add Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Steve Austin to the list and well, every living, breathing male should be kicking down theatre doors to see this.
The action film The Expendables is being hailed the "ultimate guy's movie." I'm not a guy but I agree.
There's every cliche thing in The Expendables that men supposedly love: explosions, guns, knives, helicopters, motorcycles, cigars, darts, tattoos, hot girls (well one--- surprisingly there is only one scantily clad female to be seen) and violence, violence and more violence!
Along with the big action hero names of Stallone, Statham, Li and Lundgren, UFC fighter Couture and WWE wrestler Austin and ex-NFL player Crews.
No surprise at all the theatre I was in was jam packed with testosterone (and I assume at every other The Expendables showing). The commericals before the previews were targeted towards men: CK underwear, Old Spice cologne, the video game "The Clash of the Titans" along with clips from the upcoming spy T.V. show Undercovers. The girls that were there were with their significant others. I think I only saw two women there without a male with them. For once, when the movie was over, the men's bathroom line was long and the women's (well, still long) was shorter (well, than the men's).
Being a fan of action films, I wanted to see this.
Of all the big names, I wanted to see Statham and Li the most (who turned out to be my favorite Expendables). Also I was curious to what Schwarzenegger would do (too bad his nano second role was disappointing).
The gun play (Crews' character take the cake mid movie with his gigantic black gun that obliterates everything with one firing) and especially the knife play (boy, does Statham's character knows how to handle a blade!) of the Expendables is jaw-droppinginly crazy (in the good sense)! There's almost an art to it.
The last 30 minutes or so is the most action packed where each of the Expendables have their moment to shine doing what they do best in a one on one to one on many, fighting a bad guy.
The very last death in the film has classic potential. Killing one bird with two stones is the case. You just have to see it!
So oh yes, the plot finally!
Stallone (Rocky series, Rambo series) as the leader, Barney Ross, Statham (The Transporter series, Crank series) Lee Christmas, Li (Hero, Fearless) Yin Yang, Crews (Friday After Next, Gamer) Hale Caesar, Couture, as Toll Road, and Lundgren (Rocky IV, The Punisher (1989) ) as Gunnar Jensen--- are mercenaries who go to South America (sans Jensen) to stop a ruthless dictator General Garza (David Zayas) and the ex-CIA agent James Monroe (Eric Roberts, The Dark Knight) who's trying to control the dictator.
Mickey Rourke (9 1/2 Weeks, Iron Man 2) is a part of the Expendables team but as their tattoo artist, Tool.
Besides the half-naked girl mentioned earlier (who is Tool's girl of the moment), the other two women in The Expendables are Christmas' ex-girlfriend (Charisma Carpenter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (T.V. show) ) and the daughter of the dictator (Gisele Itie). Both are damsels in distress of course, which every good action film needs.
So, what roles do Schwarzenegger, Willis and Austin have?
Well, Austin has a bigger role than Schwarzenegger and Willis. He's Dan Paine, the right hand man of Monroe. Schwarzenegger (The Terminator series) is Trench and Willis (Die Hard series) is Mr. Church and they appear together in a less than three minute scene along with Stallone's Ross. The fact that the three of them are in a scene together is pretty cool. The biggest audience claps and whistles came when Schwarzenegger appeared.
If Schwarzenegger, Willis and Stallone would have fought (they really should have) together at least in one scene, that would have been one for the history of action films.
Seeing them together in a small scene just talking wasn't enough.
That's like putting Jim Carrey, Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld in a scene and they're sleeping instead of making jokes.
Still, it's a feat that the top three action greats are in a movie together.
The Expendables has the same old formula every action film has but you're going to see what the legendary action hero actors will do with the formula.
Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, Statham, Li, Lundgren, Crews, Couture, Austin.
Enough said.


*The Stars:
Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Eric Roberts, Steve Austin, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger

Sylvester Stallone

Brian Tyler


~How Long:
1 hr. and 43 minutes


~Three actors known for their action hero roles turned down roles in the film: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal and Kurt Russell.
~The role of Hale Caesar was originally considered for Wesley Snipes, then rewritten for Forest Whitaker, and then for rapper 50 Cent, before finally Terry Crews took it on.
~The definitions of "expendable" is, "not essential" and "able to be sacraficed to achieve an objective, esp. a military one."

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