The Expendables (Sylvester Stallone, 2010) September 14, 2010Posted by Richard Bolisay in Hollywood.
Written by David Callaham and Sylvester Stallone
Directed by Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li
Either my English is nil or every one in The Expendables has this habit of slurring words that after a few scenes I finally gave up on the idea of following the plot. Mind you, I tried. In most cases, I usually lower myself to the seat and take a nap, but with all the nerve-wracking and brain-shattering explosions happening around I don’t think I could even manage to close my eyes. It’s like going through a marathon of Michael Bay’s films and graphing their use of sound, trying to see if once muted they would catch fire. Nevertheless, it turns out for the best, because with this type of work, once you cared for the plot, you’ll miss the point of it all, that is, the sheer pointlessness of every goddamn life in the world. You think Stallone cares if you like his movie? No frigging way. You think Jet Li would? Not an inch. Maybe Jackie Chan, but not fucking Jet Li in a Sylvester fucking Stallone movie. It’s already given that certain scenes in The Expendables make you cringe, but for the most part they also force you to collapse in embarrassment. As in, c-o-l-l-a-p-s-e. Mickey Rourke and his I-wanna-die-of-catatonia-upon-hearing-it anecdote about this girl from Bosnia; Bruce Willis called Church, Jason Statham called Christmas, Jet Li called Yin Yang; the Stallone and Schwarzenegger face-off, Stallone saying Schwarzenegger’s fucking problem is that “he wants to be president”; Statham doing this crazy homage to Dr. Strangelove, without that riding-on-the-missile thing of course; and all the jokes on Jet Li being small, Jet Li having a family to support, Jet Li deserving to get a raise because he works harder than everyone else, and again, Jet Li being small so he has to shoot Dolph Lundgren down. I was tempted to call The Expendables a pacifist film—joining the exclusive ranks of Full Metal Jacket, MASH, and Pan’s Labyrinth—but just for a fraction of a second I snapped out of it, exclaiming a pitiful “whatever”. Go get a life if you diss this film. You bloody pukerocious runt, you fucking piece of nasty codswallop. The Expendables is a masterpiss of intellectual vacuity, for chrissakes. It does not even want to be reconsidered. My only complaint is that Jason Statham never appears without a shirt on—we’re only left with the sight of his calves and biceps—but after a bloody discussion with friends, something that involves spattering real blood from knife-slinging, we are all agreed that in Sylvester Stallone’s standards, suspicious unless his own, showing off one’s beefcake is not manly at all.