Guilty Pleasures: The Expendables
Chad White, Thinks He’s Terry Crews, Very Expendable
Have you ever noticed how some movies just take themselves way too seriously? How come we can’t just go to the movies anymore just to have a good time without worrying whether something is good or bad?
We have been spoiled with the likes of Taken and Skyfall. Action has become stylized and somewhat neutral. Muted scenes of fire are the back drop to “over the top” action that tries to stand out but ultimately blends in with other films of the genre. No longer are we surprised when we see massive car pile ups that were created with a rocket of some sort by the main character that somehow walks off without a scrape.
I miss those times. When Sly Stallone announced that he was making The Expendables, I nearly pooped my pants. He was going back to the roots of action. Pure nostalgia. No more plot. No more meaning. Just straight carnage. Now, Stallone probably wasn’t aiming for all of that stuff, just the nostalgia part. The movie had no real story per se but it did stand out on its own.
Stallone’s Expendables took what was great about the 80’s movies that he worked on and put a modern day twist on them. First, he implemented a large, diverse cast. Starting with him and Jason Statham as the two main characters, the men co-lead a team of nine men on missions around the globe. It’s basically the A-Team but dirtier and deadlier. Next, there’s the nonscensical story. I’ve seen this movie a dozen times, I own the blu ray, I’ve read the synopsis and I still don’t understand what the hell was supposed to be the main plot point. I think it has to do with Bruce Willis and maybe Arnold Schwarzenegger hiring The Expendables to kill some Latin drug lord. But there are plot holes abound in this movie so we can drop that. Although, that does make it like its classic 80’s brothers.
The action is top notch. Blood is flying everywhere with every gunshot; Explosions are extravagant; And a bad guy is halved by Dolph Lundgren within the first 10 minutes. It’s wildly unbelievable and I love it. Stallone and Statham do one of my favorite plane scenes of all time. Everything in this movie is highly unplausible and that’s its main appeal.
And the series just keeps going too. The second movie came out and added more expendable men to the roster including the hunky Liam Hemsworth and the legendary Chuck Norris. The third looks to be bigger with the additions of Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford. I can’t wait to see who they have in store for the fourth movie. There’s even going to be a female version aptly titled The Expendabelles.
So what have we learned here?
The Expendables is one of my favorite franchises of all time. Once you get past the glaring problems such as plot convenience, you can finally see how awesome it is. Drop expectations and highten excitement.