Tonight I’m seeing ‘The Expendables 3’. Searching through my old reviews, I found my review for ‘The Expendables 2’. After reading it again, I have a feeling that sans the 2012 references, this article could stand in for the new movie. In fact, those who’ve already seen it, tell me if this prediction is accurate in the comments.
Rating: IT’S LIKE HANGING OUT WITH OLD DRINKING BUDDIES (WITH GUNS!)
If you read some of the things I’ve written, or talked to me, or read my thoughts, and I wasn’t writing, talking, or thinking about blowjobs, then you’d know that the movie I was looking forward to the most during the 2012 summer was Prometheus. It’s August now. That shit came out months ago. Just because that flick has come and gone doesn’t mean that I wasn’t excited for other movies, or had no expectations, it just means it was what I was looking forward to the most. Or at least, it was the one that people could understand…
I love my guilty pleasures. Believe me, while it may seem like a phrase that simply justifies shit movies, it’s much, much more. Guilty pleasures aren’t picked by internet hype, or mass appeal. It’s something that touches someone on an individual level. That’s why the word ‘pleasure’ is in there. It’s no different from the phrase ‘pleasure yourself’. A more socially acceptable definition would be to find an activity or hobby to cause enjoyment. But we know you’re really talking about polishing the purple helmet, pumping the flesh gun, flicking the bean…so you don’t mention it.
I was more than willing to project my excitement for Prometheus then I was for The Expendables 2. Sure, I’ll mention my expectations and the fact that I did enjoy the first movie, but to mention that my excitement was reserved for this schlock fest over the likes of The Dark Knight Rises? I might as well drag a cross through a synagogue while wearing an SS uniform. All credibility attributed to my taste in movies would come into question for every opinion I had (just like getting on the sex offender list for being caught jacking it in public).
I’m sure I could compare The Expendables 2 and masturbation all day (a mental exercise I may pick up tomorrow), but how was the actual movie? I’m willing to admit that I was looking forward to this movie over everything else this summer, so my expectations were higher than most people would find reasonable. The first one was so much fun and I left the theater feeling like more of a man.
In comparison, the sequel was a little lacking. I still had a blast watching these jacked up heroes shoot everything and everyone in sight, but small let downs started to stack up. The first trouble I spotted was Sylvester Stallone’s mustache. Yes, his mustache. It was an amputated version of the goatee from the first movie. Looking at the pencil thin mustache and douchy soul patch didn’t sit right. I tried to ignore it, but I couldn’t help coming back to it. It was distracting. Imagine having a Miss America line up and Miss South Carolina was waving to the audience with no arms. Not even Miss Vermont’s recent tit implants could keep your eyes off those nubs.
While the mustache isn’t a big deal, merely a representation of the types of changes ahead, the violence is significantly toned down. I’m not saying that you don’t see a man pushed into a spinning helicopter blade (you totally do), I’m just saying that you shouldn’t expect the walking water balloons of gore from the first movie. It’s nice to see that the filmmakers didn’t bow to a PG-13 rating, but it is disappointing to see the obvious traces of them bowing to pressure.
For some reason the action choreography took a hit too. Unlike the first film, this one doesn’t look like Sylvester Stallone gave the camera to someone with palsy and asked to shoot the ground. What you couldn’t see throughout that shaking and bobbing is that the actors were twisting and diving and blowing away bad guys in ways that can only be described with fist pumping and Neanderthal grunts. My only guess is that the combination of brutal finishers being removed and the actors not wanting to hurt themselves again (pussies!) led to the standard cover, pop out and shoot dynamic that’s utilized by other action movies nowadays.
But the cast returns to kick ass! At least those who stick around. For some reason, Jet Li vanished after the first fifteen minutes, and half of the people on the fucking poster are goddamn cameos. Are you excited to see more of Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger? Can’t wait to see Chuck Norris and Jean Claude Van-Damme? Too bad fucker! It’s disappointment season and you’re Daffy fuckin’ Duck! Schwarzenegger even takes away Terry Crews’s auto shotgun! That’s just mean towards the audience. Plain old mean.
Jean Claude plays a pretty good bad guy too. Since he’s the bad guy though, he’s relegated to scenes of exposition, as if exposition is somehow important in a flick like this. My disbelief is so suspending going into this goddamn thing, that if the explanation for everything was ‘magic’, I’d believe it (actually, that would make more sense). It really is too bad that we don’t get to see him all that much. He and his whole crew has these Satanist tattoos that would have been fun to learn more about.
All in all though, if you went to see this movie, chances are you just wanted to see some shit blow up. And blow up they did. Stuff goes boom real good. There are long lulls you’ll have to deal with, but then again that’s any moment where missiles aren’t flying at something. During this time, you get to see the banter between characters, which is nice and develops characters a little better than the first one (Terry Crews has the best lines, and it’s great to see how they give Dolph Lundgren something ‘smart’ to do in every scene [’cause, you know, in real life his IQ is up there with my hypertension]), but we all know why it’s there. The movie would have never been green lit if it were just forty-five minutes of shooting, stabbing, and muscle jiggling.
Final Thoughts: I got what I wanted, but I didn’t leave the theater with the feeling the original gave me. The first movie made me feel like a man. Usually, movies where manly men hit things makes me feel like I need to go to the gym to reach the level of fitness of those on screen. The Expendables showed me heroes who were my speed, didn’t have to take off their shirts every two seconds, and could be badass by growing some balls and walking into the fight. The Expendables 2 did that to an extent, but it always felt like it was holding back. There could have been more.
As we speak, The Expendables 3 is in pre-production. Chuck Norris isn’t going to be in it. The wet blanket is gone. The offers for new actors that went out made me so excited, I think I peed a little. Epic wouldn’t be the right word. Amazplosion might be. My expectations are shooting up again. I think that the next movie is going to become what this movie wanted to be. I don’t care what comes out next year, or the year after. My brain has it’s dick in hand and it’s pumped (see what I did there? a callback and a pun. I’m awesome/suck).
For now, this is what we’ve got. It’s an enjoyable, adrenalin fueled rush. If you liked the first one, you’ll like this. Hell, take your kids. There’s very little swearing and no F-Bombs. So long as you don’t mind bullet hits and the possibility of your kids being swayed towards the gym and steroids at seven years old, go for it. This flick is like the second ‘big’ roller coaster at the amusement park. It’s still good and fun, but compared to the one you went on before, it’s only ‘eh’.