151 Proof Movies Hangover: The Expendables Review
The Expendables is a tough film to review. For me, it is really divorce my expectations on the film from what we got. Even with 2 years, and a re-visit, I still feel that the movie misses the boat. But does drinking at least raise my enjoyment?
Let’s get to the score board!
What can I say about The Expendables that hasn’t been said before, that isn’t felt by every person that has seen it? We all had high hopes going into it, how could we not? With that cast of action heroes the movie couldn’t possibly suck. And then they managed to make it bad in the most unexpected movie. They made it boring.
The one thing I was not expecting them to do was to make the movie story heavy. I was expecting action, and lots of it. Sure we do get quite a bit of action but even those scenes are not that memorable. For example I remember that the Dolph Lundgren/Jet Li fight was bad ass and that it happened but I could not tell you a specific thing that happened in it. The movie also lacks any good one-liners. Hell I don’t even think they had any in the movie.
And you know what, after all that, I am still very excited for the sequel. I know that I shouldn’t be. I know that I am just going to be let down but I just can’t let go of that glimmer of hope that THIS TIME they will get it right.
When thinking of this movie, the one word that comes to mind is… SAFE. It is an odd descriptor, but I feel like the studio played it too safe with this film. When you have so many action stars in one movie, you kind of expect a balls to the walls movie, but instead it is a lot more grounded. Spending most of the movie trying to make us care about the leads (Statham and Stallone) and their mission.
It also plays it safe with the characters. Aside from Stallone and Statham, very few characters get much screen time. Rourke’s character shows up for a few scenes to instill some words of wisdom. Li’s character gets to make short jokes and family jokes. Crew, really doesn’t serve a purpose until the climax and Lundgren is just there to look crazy.
This extends to the other side as well since the people are only evil because we’re told they are evil. Don’t really see them do much dastardly stuff until they start turning on each other.
The safest aspect of the movie though is the action. It does nothing clever or unique or fun in this film. Instead everything seems to be less memorable versions of 100 other action set-pieces. Even the climax which has explosions going off everywhere doesn’t feel or look special. Just disappointing all in all.
This was a very disjointed movie for drinking, with lots of drinks during the action scenes and then 30 minute lulls without a single drink. Based on these action scenes you could easily play this game with only the kill rule and still get wrecked in the climax. Even though this movie gets a 2 from me we still had to call Rubber Nipples at the final action scene, on account of not physically being able to keep up with the kills going on on screen.
Looking back over the rules I notice that the spoken rules only came into effect a few times, so little in fact I had to look up the rules to make sure that they exist.
So give this movie a watch, but be prepared to drink a lot for the final 30 minutes.
This is like a really bad roller coaster ride. Some amazing highs, but some terrible lows. Since the film feels the need to build characters and motivation, a lot of the action movie tropes (kills, explosions) are left to only a handful of scenes. During these scenes, the drinking comes fast and heavy. The problem is, these scenes, makes up such a tiny portion of the actual running time. A lot of the time, you will just be trying to enjoy whatever is going on, which isn’t an easy task.
The rest of the rules had their lulls as well. The brother rule is pretty much exclusively for when Rourke’s character is on screen. The one-liners in this film are delivered with so little energy that we honestly probably missed them all but a handful. The rules could be fixed, but not really sure how.
The Expendables suffers from a huge identity problem. The film is sold as a celebration of the crazy action stars of the generation. Except the film itself doesn’t concern itself with their history or their abilities in the role. Instead, it seems to want to find heart, which is a noble gesture, but falls flat and drags the entire move down with it. The drinking wasn’t frequent enough to effect enjoyment of the movie either.
That said, I do hope that the Expendables 2 fixes these problem!