Now don't roll your eyes. Yes I saw this movie, almost against my will. On Labor Day weekend, we found ourselves with a little bit of extra time on our hands. Not something that happens often. And I thought that we should take advantage of this anomaly and go to the movies.
The only takers I could muster were my son and his friend Scootie. Well, they didn't want to see anything romantic or scary, and nothing too rated R, so that limited the field. To this ONE MOVIE. They did not want me with them, but there was truly nothing else going on.
I did not see the first Expendables movie, for probably the same reasons I shouldn't have seen this one.
But let me talk about the positive aspects of the film. The cast is totally loaded. Sylvester Stallone, Liam Hemsworth, Jason Statham, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, plus a few more. (Not that any of these fellows were challenging themselves on the acting front.) There were a lot of six-packs and biceps. It was only 1 hour and 43 minutes. Those are the positives.
I'm not even going to talk about the plot. Whatever it was, it was just an excuse for this mercenaries-for-hire to stab, shoot, blow things up, and destroy stereotypical bad guys from the Soviet Union.
I couldn't decide if the movie was the stupidest thing I'd ever seen, or if the stupidity was intentional and I was to take it all in jest. I DID laugh several times, because I just couldn't believe I had paid good money to see this stuff. My son felt that they were making fun of themselves and the genre. I certainly HOPE that is the case. Let me give you a few examples of the cornball.
In one gun fight, Arnold and Bruce Willis and hiding behind a car, and taking turns unloading their ammo into evildoers. Arnold says to Willis "I'll be back". Willis says "No, you've been back enough. I'll go." And Arnold says "Yippee Ky Yay". Uh huh. Stuff like that.
One member of our Expendables team is dressed like a priest so he can sneak up on the evildoers, then as he reveals himself, says "By the power invested in me, I now pronounce you man and knife". Then he spears him.
The final scene shows Stallone and Van Damme faced off in a final dual. Stallone has all kinds of guns and knives on him, but he throws it all down so they can rip each other apart in the manly way. I just laughed and shook my head.
Of course the boys thought this was all great stuff, but they didn't take it seriously. The movie is rated R, but there is very little language. Apparently Chuck Norris knew this movie would appeal to tween and teenage boys, and insisted the f-bombs be removed. Good for him. There is no sex, not even implied, or even a scantily-clad woman. The rating is coming completely from the shooting and violence that was almost cartoonish.
So I've warned you. How in the name of all that's holy did this film get 65% on Rotten Tomatoes is beyond me. If you want a silly, brainless bit of testosterone, with a wisp of a theme of retribution, then look no further!
2 out of 5 stars