There are few movies in which I find myself wondering “what in THE HELL?”.
The Expendables has earned such commentary.
By traveling to the Assisted Living Home For Aging Action Stars, Sylvester Stallone has rounded up a veritable who’s who of has-beens who no one under 25 has ever heard of and made one fantastically horrible movie. Has Sly traded what little creative juice he’s ever had for enough plastic surgery to give Joan Rivers a jealous streak? Where to begin?
The dialogue: my two little boys under age 8 trade better zingers and spicier barbs. There’s not even a “Yo, Adriannnnn!” moment to be turned into cult currency at a later date. It’s horrible. Oh? And every bad guy moment? Totally laced with cartoonish monologue-ing that was so cleverly lampooned in The Incredibles.
The cast: I’m gonna go with the belief that every single cast member owed Mr. Stallone a substantial amount of money that they were unable to repay. As penance, he forced them to “act” in his dog-turd of a creation. Only Jason Statham made a decent effort. Mickey Rourke? So bad. Bruce Willis? Stilted and contrived. Arnold? Looked like he’d just emerged from a microwave oven set on high for too long. Dolph Lungren? Duuuuuuuuuude. You washed out years ago, right alongside whatever dignity you were clinging on to. Stone Cold Steve Austin? At least he got to employ wrestling moves, choosing to employ straight arms in lieu of guns or knives (always smart) thereby not reaching too far out of his skill set.
The plot: Sly and his band of washed up mercenaries are more than willing to kill 7,638 people apiece in order to give Sly the chance to see a girl again. This is a woman who is young enough to be his daughter, so I was ever so thankful when he merely hugged her at the end, as opposed to feigning some sort of romance. She is the daughter of naughty General Garza, played by David Sayas, the actor who deftly plays the role of Angel Batista on the brilliant Showtime series Dexter and seems morbidly appalled that he signed on to play some sort of corrupt junta-type. It’s as though he never read the script and can’t believe he sunk so low as to sign on sight unseen. Eric Roberts, the CIA agent turned rogue drug lord is played sleazily enough, with his defining bad-guy characteristics being his slicked back hair and all-too-white teeth.
The only thing that made this movie bearable was being able to groan its terriblicity so loud that the normally unflappable Chris Louzader got markedly uncomfortable. If we’re going to go for awkward, I say we take it all the way.
The synopsis: this is one hundred and three minutes of my life I will never get back. And if you waste your time and money watching this arthritic clunker, you’ll feel as though perhaps your free time is expendable, too.
Overall Score: D- Minus (that’s right: minus minus. So very minus)
So apparently Jean Claude VanDame was smart in saying “no” to the project.