Thursday, August 5, 2010

At the Movies - The Expendables

by: the Admiral

The concept and rating system for At the Movies can be found here.

So cute when Grandpa & his buddies get together.

What do I know about this movie? I know it stars Sly Stallone, Dolph “ I must break you Rocky” Lungren, Mickey Rourke, Forest Whitaker, Arnold Shwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, a broke-ass Jackie Chan clone, a wrinkled Steve Austin, an MMA fighter, and the guy who delivers pizza in 30 minutes or less in Transporter 8.

With my penchant for 80s movies you would think that I would be salivating to see this movie. The fact is you can’t drop the Goonies, Mr. Miyagi, and a bunch of Gremlins in a box, have Arnold blow it up, scream “Yippie ki-yay motherfucker!” and end up with a great movie. You especially can’t do it 25 years later; the Goonies are 40, Mr. Miyagi is dead, and WikiSpecies says that Gremlins have a life expectancy of 4 years or sunrise, whichever comes first. Plus as much of a badass as Bruce Willis used to be, how can I be afraid of someone whose gone from battling terrorists to going toe-to-toe with Ross Geller. Plus he let Ashton Kutcher steal his wife & kids; respect him, I do not.

At least the chosen title is perfect - The Expendables. This grab bag of 80s has-beens are so old and past their prime that here are the other working titles they considered for this superhero team:

-The Octogenarian Mutant Ninja Turtles
-The Xpired-Men
-The AARP Justice League
-The Subpar Friends (Although the Super Friends had a girl. Maybe they can get Betty White to play Wonder Woman)
-The League of Extraordinary Senior Citizens

At the Movies Rating – 2 Meatballs -


With the review out of the way, I feel I need to specifically discuss one of the actors from the Expendables. I can understand how a gaggle of washed up action stars collecting Social Security can choose to do a movie like this and live out their old glory days, but Forest Whitaker, what were you thinking?

I thought Forest fancied himself a serious actor. He had significant parts in Platoon and Fast Times at Ridgemont High before his career took a wrong turn playing empath Dan Smithson is the movie Species. (Although I must give props to Species 2 for being partially filmed at UMCP).
Even with this bump in the road, as recently as 2006 Forest won an Oscar for best actor for playing despot Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. And while most people would think something like a starring role in Hamlet would be the pinnacle role for a serious actor, I think Forest did his finest work when trying to taze Jean-Claude Van Damme as FBI Agent Rawlins in Bloodsport. The scene made no sense, but his acting chops made it work. For those who forget, let me set the scene.

Forest (Rawlins) & other FBI agent: Dux. End of the line. We’ve got to bring you back.

Van Damme: NO! After the Kumite final.

Forest (Rawlins) & other FBI agent: I didn’t want to do it this way. (They pull out Zach Morris 1984 tazers and fire)

Van Damme: (Diverts the tazer with a metal trash can lid and electrocutes Chinese state police officers)

Forest (Rawlins): (begrudgingly) Okay fine. We’ll meet you at the airport tomorrow.

Since when can you taze a member of the Chinese state police and nobody give a shit? When Forest Whitaker tells bitches to be cool and meet at the airport tomorrow, that’s when. He is that good. A man with that kind of talent to throw it all away for a 2 meatball film like The Expendables is dissapointing to say the least.


  1. "The fact is you can’t drop the Goonies, Mr. Miyagi, and a bunch of Gremlins in a box, have Arnold blow it up, scream “Yippie ki-yay motherfucker!” and end up with a great movie."

    Amazing! I must bring up the error in the career timeline path. Mickey Rourke is as hot as he's ever been right now (best actor nomination last year)...

  2. I thought someone might try to bring this up.

    The fact is that Mickey Rourke died in 1997. Anytime someone has a role that is "perfect for Mickey Rourke" they put Vince Neil on a cycle of steroids, tell everyone Neil is in rehab, and have him play the role of the sterotypical meathead.

    Plus, NOMINATED? I've been NOMINATED for an Acadamy Award.