Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Expendables

Combine all the action stars from 1980's, add a of couple professional athletes (the gladiator kind), toss in one solid acting talent, mix in lots of gasoline and gun powder, and then beat the plot into irrelevancy and you have The Expendables: a balls-out, head-banging, slice-and-dice action flick that is as over-the-top as it is in-your-face.

Stallone directs this one, where he combines various elements of different 80's movies. Every thing that happens here you've seen before, just not in this order. Surprisingly, it kinda works, with all the bits and pieces fitting together into a whole. Kinda like a mosaic.

Stallone leads a group of mercenaries who are no good at anything else, and all have their issues dealing with real life relationships. The action starts early, like in the opening scene, and meat, blood and bone never stop flying. (Imagine the story-ending whizbangboom of Rambo (the last one) but it takes up the whole movie.)

I did mention that there was one real acting talent,didn't I?
That would be Mickey Rourke. He plays a burned out mercenary who still hangs out with his old buddies, unable to complete the transition from the world he no longer wants to the world he cannot fit into.
As he says: "I don't want to die for a woman. I want to die laying next to one."
He's philosophical and wise. Tearfully, with a measure of forced detachment, he recalls the day in Bosnia when he lost his soul. I'm convinced that Rourke wrote this scene himself. He's the only actor in this whole display capable of performing it, and it is out of sync with the rest of crew. Rourke takes his character, a character that probably only has 15 minutes of total screen time, if that, and turns him into the one we understand and empathise with the most.
Great job by Rourke. But I have always thought that he was a better talent than the sum of his career, which seems to be on an upswing. Good for him.

Overall:
I don't know. I want more theater than this one brought to the screen. Not that I was expecting all that much in the first place, but after the last two installments of 'Rambo' and 'Rocky' I think I'm justified in expecting just a bit more from a Stallone film.
Maybe it's just me getting a little long in the tooth.
The Under 25 set will love it. Maybe even consider it a great movie.
Unfortunately though, I haven't been 25 in a very long time.
But if you do see it, go to the big screen. All that exploding gasoline is just wasted watching it home.

2 comments:

my name is Amanda said...

It's missing Steven Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme.

Gino said...

i read were van damme was invited to the festivities but he turned it down.

and seagal probably was left out because he's a dick.