The Expendables

The Expendables

What he said:


I can't quite put it into the right words, but sometime around the mid-late 90's action movies changed. They got bigger, louder, and even more unbelievable. Don't get me wrong, they always had an air of absurd to them. However there was usually this sense of realism to them. Sometimes the impossible can still be believable if done right. That art seems to have been lost amongst most modern action movies. How or why I do not know.

It was slow at times, but definitely had its moments. The gun that Terry Crews' character had at the end was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. It was like watching a video game unfold before your eyes.

The fights between Li/Lundgren and Austin/Stallone were also pretty entertaining. Usually we are given some nobody to be paired up against our overly muscular hero (especially in Stallone's case), but not this time. This time we are given one big name vs another. We even get a few new (to the action movie business) names in Randy Couture and Terry Crews (usually known for his comedy).

But the story and the acting were really lacking at times, even for an action movie. There were times I literally could not understand what the characters were saying; Mickey Rourke and Dolph Lundgren in particular.

All you need to know about the story is that The Expendables is about a group of mercenaries battling a dictator and drug kingpin on some small remote island. Unfortunately for them, they are up against just about every action hero from the last 30 years.

I think it was an ok movie if for no other reason than to bring together some of these big names. It makes you think of what could have been if anyone was smart enough to make a movie while these guys were in their prime. However, if you really have a hankering for some old action heroes, I highly recommend Universal Soldier: Regeneration. After several bad sequels, it reunites the two stars from the original and is actually a better movie.

Rating: Thumbs half way up.

This movie was written for your reading pleasure on November 30, 2010.

What she said:


I grew hair on my chest just looking at the movie poster for The Expendables. So much testosterone. Stallone, Stratham, Li, Lundgren, Couture, Austin...and every other 80s/90s beefcake that they could dig up. Yeah, I'm not forgetting Schwarzenegger. Arnold was, by the way, probably the best part of this movie, even if he was only a minute-long cameo.

The Expendables dwells not on plot and characterization, but instead on explosions, blood, sweat, and lots and lots of muscles. In the case of Stallone, you'll be subjected to muscles and Madonna-like scary veins. The guy in you will love this movie. It's so loud and flashy your senses will be dimmed by the end of the flick. But don't expect to get too much out of it other than nostalgia.

For that reason, I am disappointed. I wanted some of the story brilliance of Total Recall, Predator or Rambo in there. Not just explosion after explosion. I was really hoping that this collection of revered action heroes would be able to shine, showing their range of crafts and talents. But the plot just doesn't lend itself to that. What a pity.

Diagnosis: Thumbs 1/3 of the way up. And that's mostly for Schwarzeneggar.