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Movie review: The Expendables

By RT | August 19, 2010

Yesterday afternoon I went to see The Expendables. Pretzel bites and Cherry Coke in hand, I sat down and expected the worst. Given that some folks had warned me it was bad, I knew what I was getting myself into, but was content because all I really wanted to see was Jason Statham in action and to see things blow up and go boom.

I got what I went for, and it wasn’t the worst movie I’d ever seen.

That all said, here is my review:
The good:
I loved all of the action. I like action movies and comedies, so I was fine. The good actors did their best to play their roles well. Eric Roberts and Jason Statham were the best. Even Bruce Willis, in his limited role, was great in his delivery. In fact, I wish he had a larger role. One step further, I propose a movie wherein Roberts and Willis are bad guys and Statham is the hero.

Mickey Rourke could have been put to better use, too. It is painful to watch good actors deliver poor writing with the best they can offer.

My YAY! moment? Couture puts an end to the UFC vs. WWE debate.

The bad:
As I just mentioned the writing was awful. Don’t get me wrong; I didn’t go to it thinking that Oscar-worthy lines would be said by the gentlemen in the film. Corny jokes and humor trying to present itself as banter between characters just fizzled. It was forced, especially during the cameos of Schwarzenegger and Willis. Because of the poor writing and lack of ease with humor and banter for some of the actors, the pacing of the scenes became awkward. Those scenes were like uncomfortable pauses folks have in conversation. You just squirm, and those instances did give me ants in my pants.

Also at issue, for me, was the use of cameos for the sake of having them, at least it felt that way. That, I think, goes back to the writing and planning of the film. At times I found myself thinking that the bulk of the budget was spent on compiling the heavy hitters and staging the action scenes while the film in total was neglected. The actors did try to work with what they had, though, and for that, they should be applauded. Keep in mind, Stallone was working with a neck injury, which was evident in the film. He couldn’t turn his head.

I know it is hard with movies like this to not follow a predictable formula, and they did try to overcome that problem, but a lot of the movie was cliche and contrived.

The ugly:
Wow…the ugly. This is probably where most people who saw the movie, especially the men, had issues with the film. A few of the men in this film had failings in the area of romance. Mickey Rourke liked the slammin’ ladies, but they always dumped him after a while (probably that whistling thing his nose does), Statham had a woman who didn’t understand that he had to be away for great lengths of time, but was worth the wait, and Stallone, the lone wolf who can’t be tied down feels a connection with a lady who he can never be with, but risks his life to save.

I felt like I was watching three 13-year-old girls talk about the boys of the moment and how much they loved them and write TLF in hearts. I wanted to gag. When men reach a certain age, does the estrogen kick in and result in such introspection about relationships? I’ve had many guy friends, and yes, they had real emotions of love and care for women (they’d lack a soul, otherwise), but they didn’t sit there and analyze things to death and pine like girls hoping the quarterback will ask them to the dance.

It made me cringe and hope for more mass explosions.

Overall, I liked the action parts of the movie and some of the acting. Everything else needed improvement.

This teacher gives it a B-/C+.

Topics: , Movies | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Movie review: The Expendables”

  1. Jon Brooks Says:
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I shall wait for the pirated DVD. Thanks for saving me money RT.

  2. Jon Brooks Says:
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Also looking at how old some are and that they are getting..cough cough..bigger, could this not have been called…The Expandables?

  3. metoo Says:
    August 20th, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Stallone has been all over Fox News regarding all the flak he is receiving from the left over this little piece of cinema. The left feels the film is too “American” and “Patriotic” feeling. Go Figure.

  4. RT Says:
    August 20th, 2010 at 9:26 am

    The bad guy is an American who uses the leader of a small Latin island as a puppet, so the bad guy can have tons of cocoa plants. My guess it isn’t for legal products. I’m not sure how that makes the movie too patriotic, as the good guys are soldiers of fortune and while they do try to good things, I don’t recall it being in the name of the U.S. or for patriotism.

    The left needs to get a grip. They are not watching the same movie.

  5. RT Says:
    August 20th, 2010 at 9:27 am

    I meant coca plants…I know the difference.

  6. Bob G. Says:
    August 20th, 2010 at 11:35 am

    So, you’re saying this movie is worth buying (used) on eBay in a year or so at 99 cents (WITH shipping…LOL), right?


  7. RT Says:
    August 20th, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Bob G.
    Yeah, but I have a hard time being critical for being critical’s sake. But, as long as you pay for it and getting a free bootlegged copy. :)

    I’d probably get it on-demand if you have it. Just be prepared for unnecessary pauses between the action scenes.