Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Expendables

You know what, I can't even lie: I enjoyed every single minute of The Expendables. No bullshit. It's a film that knows exactly what it wants to be, which is nothing more than a rock 'em sock 'em action flick. 

It's total crap, of course. The acting is forced and the dialogue is treated as an afterthought, but that didn't bother me. Here's why.

Director/writer/star Sylvester Stallone set out to make a balls-to-the-wall, '80s style action romp. And he's done just that. Most action movies today substitute real explosions for god-awful special effects. They depend on characters staring into computer screens to hack into some system, or use some piece of false weaponry that no one has ever heard of.

Sure there are a few CGI shots used here, but for the most part, shit really blows up, and guns and knives are used instead of infrared-thermal-nuclear-rocket-exploding-device... things. The Expendables never puts on a pretense. It's a throwback to the golden area of the genre, and it most definitely succeeds as just that.

Stallone and his gang of buffed-up badasses  have a blast as a crew of mercenaries hired to... hell I don't even know. Overthrow some foreign military general? Who cares.

The price of admission is worth the final blowout scene alone, most of which is set in the dungeon of a huge estate of said military general. As the men kill dozens, hundreds, seemingly thousands of bad guys without so much as receiving a scratch, they suddenly all get pinned down. Game over. Then, out of no where, one of them comes barging down the hallway blasting the shit out of anything that moves with an impossibly large shotgun. Awesome.

I shouldn't have liked this movie. It isn't my preferred cinematic cup of tea, to say the least. I should've balked at an obvious, cheesy line that Stallone delivers towards the Governor of California (who steals a scene with Mr. McClane), but instead, I laughed. I should've rolled my eyes at a barely comprehensible perfromance by Mickey Rourke, but instead, I just went with it.

Take the Transformers films for example, the most worthless clusterfuck of a film franchise that has ever been greenlit. Michael Bay actually thinks he's making The Godfather of action films; he thinks his films are masterpieces. The Expendables never gives off that impression, because it isn't trying to be great. It's just trying to blow shit up, and have fun doing it.  As Rourke would say: "Amen, brother." B

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