Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Expendables

I got a little stir crazy this afternoon and had to get out of the house, even if for a few hours. Post-surgery, my energy levels still fluctuate so I thought it might be better to go to a movie (not much different from what I'm doing at home). Despite a major holiday weekend, I found that there aren't too many movies currently out that I have any interest in seeing. However, I recently heard an interview with Sylvester Stallone and decided that The Expendables could be worth checking out (or "not your worst option" as we like to say).

Stallone not only stars in, but also co-wrote and directed the movie. Based on the interview I heard, he had a hard time getting any studio to make the movie, despite an all-star cast with major action draw. I'm not sure why it was such a hard sell, but I know H'wood is a fickle beast.

The movie stars quite a few action stars of the 80's & 90's. In addition to Stallone, you've got Jason Statham (Transporter, Crank), Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV, Universal Soldier), Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, and cameos from Bruce Willis and the Arnold. Two other cast members that the geek world would recognize include Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia of Buffy & Angel fame) and David Zayas (Angel from Dexter).

I'm not sure what to say about The Expendables, other than it was a fast-paced, guilty pleasure. The action is ridiculous but so over-the-top that it's fun and entertaining. All the stars have amazing fight sequences, particularly Statham and Li (so awesome that it made me want to go learn a martial art!). I didn't expect much out of the plot line - since it is clearly an action focused film - so the story was about as deep as one would anticipate: team of mercenaries hired to take out South American dictator. Trouble ensues. It reminded me a little of The Losers, which was released earlier this summer and based on a comic book series of the same name.

Shockingly (not), critics didn't love the movie, but the earnings have been so good that apparently a part 2 has already been greenlit (green lighted?). Given how hard it was to get Expendables produced, I'm sure Stallone is thrilled by the commercial success. Anyway, here's a clip:

Maybe it's the nostalgia talking (yeah, let's go with "nostalgia") but with a summer of some crappy movies -- I'm looking at you, Charlie St. Cloud -- I'd much rather have a shoot 'em up pulpy action film than more sappy dramas or terribly predictable rom-com. Oh, and if it isn't in the works already, this one should *totally* be a video game; the possibility of living vicariously through martial arts fights, shooting everything, and blowing up everything else would make it a contender (ahem, Kinect).

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