Movie Review: The Expendables
Got to go see The Expendables this week. Even before I saw it here in Hong Kong, the box office success in U.S. seemed to indicate I wasn’t the first Reagan America weaned, over 40 American male pining for a trip down memory lane involving some serious Stallone & Co. inspired body count!
Hey, I admit it. I’m a product of the 80’s. Any given Tuesday, say circa 1985, would often involve me and my friend Tom catching the dollar show and Schwarzenegger’s Commando or Stallone’s Rambo. Then we’d get out to the parking lot after the movie, start talking about it, realize the movie was only a dollar, and go see it again! Good times…good times. (You know I mentioned Tom a few posts back, if this keeps up I’ll have to give him his own label)
Anyhow, I connected with an old friend here who, coincidentally, left Hong Kong with his family about the same time we did 10 years ago. We met for dinner before the show and had a good laugh at how things came together in our lives that brought us both back to the territory. When I called him up to ask him if he’d be interested in seeing The Expendables he said, “Steve, you read my mind.”.
The movie turned out to be pretty good. It followed the tried and true formula you come to expect. South American drug cartel is oppressing a small Latino town and Stallone and Co. get hired to right wrongs, kick some butt, and save the girl!
The gimmick to the film is the movie’s use of familiar action heroes from the past including brief cameos from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Dolph Lundgren, who last squared off against Stallone as the Russian fighter Draco in Rocky IV, also is part of Sly’s crack mercenary company. Micky Rourke plays an ex member of the team that Stallone goes to for advice and acts as the spiritual advisor for the team.
Rourke is so good, and brings so much gravitas to the role, that when he is on screen, you think you’re watching an Oscar nominated Best Actor scene…that is before you remember that this is a 80’s homage shoot-em-up!
As good as it is to see Stallone again what really makes the movie zing is Jason Statham. What is it about this guy that you love even the way he beats up other guys? Then add Jet Li…and the team is good to go…
My son asked me what I thought of the movie on a scale of 1-10. Being a film lover I feel I have to qualify my answer. As a movie in general, I have to give it a 7. It is what it is and doesn’t try to be more than that. But rating it based on what it is, I give it a 9. It was lots of fun and I’ll be looking out for “The Expendables 2”.
Maybe by then we’ll see an over the hill Steven Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme joining the team!
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