Sunday, September 22, 2013

3 Short Paragraphs: The Expendables (1 & 2)

2012, Simon West (Tomb Raider, Con Air) -- download

What? I never reviewed my watching of Expendables 1 ?? How did I get away with that? Did I actually download it in early 2011, before this blog was born? Either way, let's roll both into these short paragraphs of outrage. As I have said before, writing about a horrible, bad, stinky, terrible movie is always easier than writing about why you liked a good movie.

These movies are about an ensemble team of aging mercenaries. And that is about it. There are loose (extremely, kind of, maybe) plots about jobs they are sent on. The team is made up of older action stars from other movies. I did ten minutes of research hoping to find a legacy of a writer & director coming up with the witty idea of jamming them altogether into a movie. But it just seems to be a script pulled down off the shelf and handed to Stallone. I think it all happened in those mythical Hollywood cafe patio conversations that I so often imagine movies beginning. The concept is gold -- gather the familiar faces from two decades of action movies, along with their tropes and cliches, and have them shoot the screen up. The concept is gold. The movie is not.

I am actually not sure if it wasn't intentional. To the 12 year old, most action movies are brilliant, well scripted and the ham-fisted lines are memorable. But to the adult, they are tired and oh-so bad. These movies want to be like Pacific Rim was for Graig and I, a wash of gleeful nostalgia of good guys fighting bad guys. Unfortunately, they are just bad. Bad bad bad. The story is forgettable (already forgot what the first one was), the dialogue had me asking, "Why did they say that? SERIOUSLY, WHY WAS THAT A LINE ?!?" and the action is non-sensical (boom boom SPLOOTCH boom). They don't even have memorable villains. And the tropes and cliches are laughable, not laugh ironically with it, but laugh at how stupid it was to shoehorn in the line or scene. These are straight to stealitfromtheinternet moves with bigger budgets than they deserve, all used up to hire the actors.

Graig had a similar high opinion here.