Director: Sylvester Stallone
Writer: Dave Callaham, Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Charisma Carpenter, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger
[Here’s my first review.]
The Expendables are a group of mercenaries, most notably Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Ying Yang (Jet Li) and Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren). They mostly go around blowing up bad guys and getting tattoos from Tool (Mickey Rourke), who always throws some wisdom into the mix. When Barney gets the job to get rid of the General, a tyrant on a small Latin-American Island, he has to face is own humanity. And he has to blow a lot of shit up.
I knew that The Expendables wasn’t a good film. In the spirit of completism and masochism, puzzledpeaces and me decided to take the release of the third one as the perfect opportunity to make it a triple feature. So here we are and I can honestly say that it is even worse than I remembered.
The first thing that really struck me about it is how totally abysmal the editing is. I didn’t realize it that much the first time round – but it’s not only the action scenes that are incoherent, every cut in the dialogues is about half a second too long, lingering on faces that show you exactly nothing.
But what I remembered exactly as bad as it was were the script and the directing. It hurt my soul to watch those dead faces perform those dialogues and nothing about it worked. The worst offender there was probably Mickey Rourke (who I had completely forgotten was in the film. Probably my subconscious trying to save my brain cells) who waxes on without any sort of inflection as if he had never acted in his life. And is a sexist character to boot. (Generally the sexism caused my to role my eyes several times.)
But okay, you don’t go into this kind of film and don’t expect the dialogues to be bad or a bit of sexism. But unfortunately the film meanders between completely nonsensical (like when Eric Roberts holds up a drawing, bellowing “THAT’S HOW IT STARTS!” and by “it” he doesn’t mean creativity, he means critical thinking and rebellion) and boring. It lacks all kind of charm, even on re-watching, and not even the action scenes are any good.
I did learn from watching it a second time. I learned that there will never be a next time. Never again.
Summarizing: cringeworthy to say the least.