The Expendables

So last night I headed out with a friend of mine to see a 10:10 showing of 'The Expendables'. (Let me just give you a heads up that I'd been drinking wine before heading in so I was a little banged up while watching this flick). Anyway, we sit down and wade through a series of surprisingly extra terrible looking trailers. Mainly a blurry frenzy of force fed action flicks. The only thing that got a crowd reaction was Jackass 3D-- and even that was looking a little questionable to me (they better have more than the high five). Whatever. This movie starts up and I scrunch down in my chair as soon as I see 'Directed by Sylvester Stallone' on the screen. That credit still looks weird to me. Like it can't be taken seriously at all.

 (But I will always have respect for Stallone (Sly) and I will forever worship him on some level for writing the first Rocky which I saw recently and full blast cried at the end. Again).

Anyway, I gotta be honest-- I seriously have no idea what this Expendables movie was about plot-wise. Zero. I missed all of it. Within the first minute I was lost and never regained my attention footing. (The wine probably didn't help.) Right out of the gate I was flat back floored with instant regret for buying a ticket at all. And that wore off and I settled in for the long haul-- I got increasingly distracted by the faces. The male plastic surgery squinty eyed wtf-ing of Sly, Mickey and Arnold (cameo) or whoever. I kept mentally comparing what these guys used to look like and what they look like now. So in that regard, the plastic surgery parade was interesting. Then when I got over that and started listening to the movie-- I basically just played a half hearted game of sifting through the dialogue to decipher what was an intentional "joke" as opposed to what wasn't supposed to be a joke-- while waiting for a new action scene.

You'd think the action scenes pow BLAM boom BAM would overwhelm the need to pick at this movie like a scab-- but even the action was a surprising let-down. The only parts of the action that I dug were the moments of sheer over the topness (which this movie was too skimpy on). Some dude get shot in half by a single gun. Cool! Great! Or what's his face comes marching in with a gun so big that the dull deepness of the bang bang noise drowns out every other gun! Cool! All that stuff is fun. But more often than not Expendables just looked cheap. The explosions were weak. Crumbling buildings looked all model shop styrofoamy. Fire looked fake. This flick just came off frantic and cheap. It was like it was on steroids-- but not the "good" kind of steroids. That kind that makes you hit home runs and look like superman. More like the bad kind that gives you back pimples and smaller balls while turning you into a circus freak.

That's not to say that I didn't laugh out loud a bunch of times. I did. 10x? But only at the high moments of desperate terribleness or blatant dialogue laziness. The problem with Expendables is it fully embraced the fact that everyone expected it to badly suck-- and they just ran with it. I dunno. I'm sure what I thought this would be. I admit I sort of expected to feel a little depressed about seeing all these aging stars on screen. But I was actually more depressed about the fact that these old guys-- just came off as--- old. Instead of stepping up to the plate and being like, 'Yeah. We might be older. But you know what?! We're these mofo guys now! <clack clack> Check out this gun, bitch! Hold on to your balls or your ears!! Choose now because shit is about to get lit f--king up!!' This was more like, 'Yeah. We were those guys. Good times. We still got guns! Remember how that was fun? Guns? You remember... right? Anyway, this is what we've been up to...'

Three Good Things About this Movie

- Mickey Rourke functioned as a welcome anchor man.
- There were moments of ridiculous that worked. Like Statham riding like R2D2 on the Millennium.
- It was mercifully inside of an hour and a half.

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- Sly has gotta calm down with the eyebrow thing. He can't be looked at seriously.
- Drago sounded weirdly dubbed.
- Where was JCVD?!

Anyway, if you plan to see something for sheer stupidity-- I'm thinking this movie will let you down. Sly shooting a handgun with the speed of a machine gun while flying through the air is just dopey. I'd rather see ridiculous sniper shots like trick pool. Or a bad ass with a cannon gun that can blow a hole through somebody, the car behind him, the wall behind him, out the back door, finally exploding a stray cat. Or a karate flip that drops a grenade down the back of someone's pants who spins around grabbing at his butt before the boom.

 This was just everything we've ever seen before but cheapened and showing unserious signs of age...