Have you ever told a joke that you didn’t actually understand the punchline yourself? That’s what this movie is. Someone told Sly Stallone, “Hey, you know what would be a really great movie? If you got all you old mother fucker action stars together, and made a sort of tongue-in-cheek action movie.”
So he tried to make a semi-ironic action movie, except he doesn’t see the humor in himself or what he does. Most of them don’t. Bruce Willis does, because he’s an actor first, and an action star second. Same for Mickey Rourke. Jet Li might get it. Everybody else takes themselves very seriously.
I really wanted to love The Expendables. As soon as I saw that Stallone had co-written and directed it, however, I knew it was doomed. I was willing to give it a shot, though. It could have surprised me…
Five minutes in, there was still not a single line uttered by anyone. I didn’t really know what was going on. Something all covert action-y. And then, there he was. Sly himself. The man who willingly turned himself into an oversized Muppet for the sake of his own youth and vanity. (Honestly, why would he do that? Doesn’t he realize he was never attractive?) His face creeps my shit out. Such puffy cheeks and lips. So wrinkled around the eyes. So solid and immovable everywhere else. I shudder at the mere thought of it.
But wait, there’s more. Jason Statham. As hot as he is, watching him act is like watching a robot malfunction. There’s no rhyme or reason, and even less emotion. Then, yet another terrifying example of why aging naturally is just the overall better choice: enter Mickey Rourke.
I wanted this movie to be great, because I’m not a huge fan of action flicks. Each of the guys in this film has a movie I like, though, so I was hoping they could join forces and bring me greatness. I hoped for too much. I had to stop after 20 minutes. Had I been in a different mood I might have finished it, but I don’t think I could have liked it. Tolerance is the best I could hope for.
My parents really liked this movie. They will also freely tell you they don’t know the difference between good and bad acting.