Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis
Directed By Sylvester Stallone
Oh no! It’s a new Hollywood Blockbuster! Jasper, you goddamned sellout. You soulless fink. Shouldn’t you be tooling along the lower rungs of the cinematic ladder? Shouldn’t you be rolling around in that piss-soaked cesspool digging up old, shitstained Lucha Libre movies nobody cares about? Or how about boring us to tears with yet another Shaw Bros kung fu film? Come on, it’s been four days now and you haven’t mentioned Chang Chieh or Chen Kuan-Tai… you’re losing your touch, bro.
Before you get all James Spader on my ass… bro, let me tell you that The Expendables pays tribute to the golden age of silly ass, testosterone-fused, over the top actioneers of the 80s in glorious fashion. Sure it’s stupid, loud, and full of more lapses in logic than a Bush presidency, but so were Commando, Delta Force, and Cobra. Those films defied their insipid plots and predictable formulas because they were fantastic action films featuring ripped motherfuckers who could actually dominate you in physical combat throwing around grenades and gunfire like it was rice at a wedding. None of these prancing, pencil-necked geeks who pass as action stars nowadays can even hold a candle to these meaty killing machines of the 80’s. The Expendables knows this and instead of going with some scrawny Hollywood cash-machine like Will Smith, decides to man up and bring old genre legends like Dolph Lundgren back to the screen as well as genuinely capable action stars like Jet Li.
I was a big fan of Stallone’s woefully underappreciated Rambo sequel of a few years back. I felt that the extreme carnage and over-the-top gore were exactly what the series needed for a serious jumpstart. I am happy to report that all of that crazy shit makes a triumphant return in The Expendables. Dudes are stabbed in the neck, arms are chopped off, high-caliber machine guns slice guys in two, and concussive grenade explosions vaporize heads into a fine red mist.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that Stallone’s current obsessions are rooted in vanity. Besides the Botox injections and clinking vials of HGH, his last few films have served as entertaining, but self-serving attempts to defy his age at any cost while proving that his era of action is the only one that truly matters. With such a lofty goal as that I am surprised that he has continuously remained convincing in his argument. First Rocky Balboa, then Rambo, and now The Expendables. As far as Hollywood action films go, I don’t think anybody has been keeping it real like Stallone. Sure Michael Bay can make 37 edits in the span of twelve seconds of screen-time, but can he rip a man’s throat out with his bare hands? I didn’t think so.[Editor’s note: So many badass men and their abundant testosterone is too much for one review to contain, so later on today I’ll post my own thoughts on Stallone’s latest. Enjoy!]