The Expendables, the best unintentional comedy of the year
It’s too bad The Expendables isn’t billed as a comedy, because it’s one of the funniest movies I’ve seen all year. Imagine if Tommy Wiseau was picked to write and direct The A-Team, but at the last second, they couldn’t secure the rights, so they had to make a low-budget rip off with aging action heroes. Yep, that’s The Expendables.
Sylvester Stallone wrote, directed and stars in this explosion fest that was probably first conceived in a Planet Hollywood somewhere. He plays Barney, a stereotypical tough guy on a team of renegade geriatric bad asses that have just returned home from a mission blowing up Somali pirates. His sort-of partner, Jason Statham as Lee Christmas–yeah, that’s right, Lee Christmas–comes home to find that, though he’s only been gone for a month, his girlfriend has completely moved on and started a new life with some dude. Feeling depressed, both guys go to Mickey Rourke, because who else would you turn to when you’re feeling blue? Rourke, as Tool (I swear, I’m not making this up!) tattoos the guys and dishes out life lessons that psych them up for their next mission: defeating a corrupt dictator and drug lord in some nondescript Latin American island.
Bruce Willis appears as Mr. Church, so named because his character only appears in one scene in a church, and assigns the crew to this new mission. If the thought of having Stallone and Willis on screen at the same time didn’t put hair on your chest, then get ready for a Planet Hollywood reunion ’cause here comes Arnold Schwarzenegger! In a fashion typical to most scenes in the flick, Schwarzeneger appears, says he’s too busy to be in this movie, and leaves with no explanation, backstory or significance.
The story about overthrowing a miniscule corrupt dictatorship and Stallone hitting on the Generalissimo’s daughter is so poorly executed that it renders the entire plot completely irrelevant. You get the feeling that the screenplay was about 17 pages and every scene ended with “fight ensues”.
But who cares when you have guns and explosions?!
The last act of the film, which is basically a solid block of blowing shit up, features handguns that sound like cannons and can blow a person’s entire torso clean off while leaving their legs perfectly intact down to the shoe laces. It also includes Stallone fighting Eric Roberts and punching Steve Austin in the face while he’s engulfed in flames.
This movie has Dolph Lundgren fighting Jet Li, Terry Crews shooting a gun that does more damage than a missile, Stallone hanging out the door of a plane while it’s taking off from the water and a slew of accents so ridiculously over-the-top that I’m surprised one of the soldiers didn’t suddenly blurt, “yo quiero Taco Bell.”
The Expendables is terrible, but it’s so terrible it’s hilarious. If you’re like me and you enjoy a good bad movie, this will be right up your alley.