Film Review – The Expendables
Sorry this took so damned long to post but I had to wait until my return to Houston to get it uploaded on account of the wi-fi in my hotel out in Vegas being weaker than the GLA’s powerset. Seriously, I couldn’t even check my damned e-mail if I wanted. But anyhow, here’s the review and the story of my trek to the premiere at Planet Hollywood.
Everyone got into the theater at around 6:30 while the film was slated to start at 7:30, a good chunk of the audience was simply there because they had been given tickets when they signed up for a rewards card at the hotel when they showed up. They didn’t know of the film’s existence prior to the line forming. I shit thee not. Anyhow, the movie starts two hours late, because Stallone and company are still doing the press stuff outside and they need to make their little speech before the film starts so everyone in the theater had to wait, which was fine and I understood it, because I know how these things work. The uninformed masses however, who didn’t realize that this was a premiere and that the whole goddamned cast was outside the theater, were starting to get restless and annoying. I’m surprised a riot didn’t break out.
At around 8:30 the producer of the film, Avi Lerner comes out and starts ramblibg off names of people he’d like to thank in the most monotone voice possible and the crowd starts to heckle him a little bit. They soon settle down when Stallone comes out and introduces his cast. Sly, Statham, Lundgren, Terry Crews, Steve Austin, Randy Couture, Eric Roberts, Charisma Carpenter, and Gisele Itie all stand up on stage and the place goes nuts. Sly jokes about Lundgren being a “shorty” and wearing lifts to appear taller than he really is, a nice jab considering Lundgren is a big mofo and Sly is practically a hobbit. He also jokes about Austin being a true badass with the proof being the medical work left in Sly’s neck after their fight scene injured his back. They thanked the audience and the lights went down for the movie to roll.
The movie starts and for the entire length of the running time I am hooked. This movie is a return to form for action films. If there’s a hand-to-hand fight, you see everything. No quick cuts that give the illusion of action. It’s like the good old days. The shootouts are loud and everything explodes. I swear if someone shot a wooden applecart that sumbitch was a fireball two seconds later. It was like every great over-the-top action film of the eighties come back to life. The film really works as the ultimate male wish fulfillment. It’s all about big guns, knocking the bad guy on his ass and saving the girl. It’s like a western with machine guns.
I think the movie could have been just as good with another cast, but the film does get a boost due to who is starring in it. The viewer is practically forced to jump up and down in excitement at the thought of Jet Li fighting Dolph Lundgren or Randy Couture going one on one against Steve Austin. It’s like when kids play with their action figures of Batman and the Hulk and play out their fantasies of seeing two characters who never should collide come together and fight like madmen. This film is a sandbox and Stallone brought all the best toys.
After the movie ended I headed to the VIP afterparty, all the stars were there but I wasn’t VIP enough to meet them in person. A few of the other celebs who had come out for the premiere but weren’t part of their group mingled with the crowd. I got to meet “Tiny” Lister, who was not as huge as I had expected but was a really cool guy after I got over my initial intimidation enough to shake his hand. I soon left the afterparty because the DJ was playing Black Eyed Peas and I respect myself too much to stay in any situation where the Black Eyed Peas are considered a good idea for ambient music.
So that’s my story. It was a really cool trip and