I remember that phase Sylvester Stallone went through about ten years ago. For so long he’d been maligned by the hip mainstream and threw away his inhibitions and said; ‘Fuck it, I’m going to do my own thing and have fun with my old style stuff’, starting with the ultra violent Rambo, but then really kicking off a party by announcing himself and Jason Statham in a new movie. That sounded great, then he announced Lundgren, then Willis, then Li… then Arnold. The Expendables was great, I loved it… but it’s been a while since I’ve personally looked at it, now watching it on 4K UHD Blu-Ray, it’s almost like ‘finding it again’.
The first movie in this series is probably the best because, you know, bread is usually best when it’s first removed from the oven — it’s cool seeing big reunions in the sequel but this was the first time people like us who were starved of the old school stuff really got to feast after so long. I know that when Willis and Stallone first appeared on screen together, my cinema was enthralled, but when that door opened and Schwarzenegger appeared, there was a collective gasp. I don’t think we’ll see this ever again. This was the class of 1990, with people who kept the torch lit beyond it (Jet Li, Jason Statham) invited to stab and maim people too, instead of boring us to fucking death with a leotard origins story.
I prefer the darker tone to this movie too, compared to the other two (and especially the third), it isn’t looking at the Fast & Furious series or the Mission: Impossible series and trying to ape them. It’s purposely and deliberately targeting an older audience, a male audience, with men discussing what to do with two-timing women in between rescuing other, damsel, women using guns and high kicks. I love Eric Roberts’ slimy yet classy villain and the fact that he has a henchman, aptly played by Steve Austin. I love dialogue (I shoulda broke that bastard’s jaw) and the cagey relationship between Dolph (who in many ways steals the show) and Sly. And why am I enjoying it now more than ever?
Sylvester Stallone is a great director and even though the movie shows its budgetary constraints now and again, the obvious labour of love overpowers it.
Reviews The Expendables By The_Night_Rider From ManlyMovie.Net