Sunday, September 2, 2012

If I don't get this back...your ass is terminated.

Very rarely do I appreciate that I'm in my thirties. But looking around at things now, as old bastards generally do, I think thank God I'm not growing up in this mess. Now, that relief is quickly tempered when my now (as of two days ago) three-year old son streaks into the room, but it often lingers under the surface. I turn on the radio and it's what is this shit? I look at the way my students dress and I think someone would have rightfully kicked my ass if I had gone to school dressed like that. Don't even get me started on television. At least half of all shows are rich or stupid people, or stupid rich people, doing jackshit for an hour. People live like this? And we watch them? But the one thing that probably saddens me more than anything? It's something very dear to my childhood and teenage years. The lack of the hero. Well, the Action Hero.

Now, don't get me wrong. There have been some kickass action flicks in the last couple of years, but nothing has come close to the way things used to be. If you're a teenager now, and not into old-school action flicks, who's your biggest star? The Rock? Badass, but too many family films, thereby squandering his prime years. Vin Diesel? Had a chance, but it didn't work out. Who else is there? Shit, is it Matt Damon? Johnny Depp? Christian Bale? No, probably not any of those three. It's likely Jason Statham, who is genuinely a charismatic screen presence, but I'm not sure he's been in anything with enough mass popularity.

My point? The best Action Heroes, were from my youth. They always have been, and likely, always will be.

The Expendables 2 is yet another reminder of, depending on your tastes, the good ol' days. Now, the movie itself isn't great, but you can't deny the magic of seeing all these iconic ass kickers together on screen. Cheesy one liners, droves of guys running into bullet spray and an overwhelming on-screen awareness of each guy's historical significance make for a good time at the movies.

Honestly, I was a bit disappointed with the first one. It had it's moments, sure, but it seemed light on the action. Also, I was foolishly expecting a level of Rambo-esque violence that wasn't to be found. This time though, I was just as happy with the downtime as I was when they were blowing shit up. Maybe my expectations were lowered due to the first one, or maybe the second one was simply better - I'm not sure. I think more Arnold had something to do with it. And f--king Chuck Norris, too.

Jeez, I'm almost at Chuck's junk and I haven't even really touched on the movie. Well, I guess there's not a better place to start, huh? The plot, as I recall, centers on the acquisition of some important device that is among the wreckage of a downed airplane. Bruce Willis' character, Church, calls in a debt to Sly and crew, that they must bring some lady to the site to free this damn thing. Shockingly, things don't go smoothly, and the ultra-scary looking bad guy shows up, with his douchey sidekick and group of friends who will all eventually die via the bullet. The story is serviceable, but let's be straight with each other. Who the f--k cares? 

What you should care about, is the cast. And unless you bought a ticket to see heavy amounts of Jet Li, you're going to have a good time. Obviously, I love seeing The Big Three together, but everybody else has carved out nice little characters as well. I love Dolph Lundgren, even if he looks like a circus freak. Couture basically takes shit about his ear the whole time, but I smirked a few times, so all is good. Crews is one of my favorite people alive, as he makes me laugh just looking at him. I really dig Statham and Stallone's tough guy banter, even if it's essentially retarded. Hemsworth has the thankless role as f--king Billy, of all people, but he does just enough. But for me, the addition of JCVD and Chuck f--king Norris was the real treat. Van Damme, is equal parts the best and worst thing ever. And Norris? Oh my God, Norris basically shows up for two minutes, kicks a little ass, shakes hands, nods, and walks off set. He might as well have looked into the camera and taken a f--king bow. It was awesomely terrible, but I loved every second of it, naturally.

This is spiraling out of control. I'm going to round up those ol' gun-slinging bastards, they Yays and Boos. Although, they were pretty pissed about no Segal.

Best excuse to film on an obvious set ever.
  • Dolph yells Eat Shit! three minutes in. Yeah, people still say that. Well, Dolph does.
  • Jet Li has two excellent moments. Frying pan attack and his minority line. Zang!
  • If I ever need to take down a CGI helicopter? I'm going with the oldest trick in the book, ghost ride a motorcycle into it.
  • I'm sorry, but jump-kicking a knife into the heart couldn't have been in the script. That's pure Van-Damage.
  • Dolph throws a chicken. Is there anything he can't do?
  • J. Statham: I'm gonna shoot you in the face when I see you. M. Brown: Don't play with my heart.
  • It might be terrible in retrospect, but I really liked the last meal conversation. Oh, Dolph.
  • The airport shootout was pretty nuts. As was X-ray death. And of course, the propeller.
  • The sound-effects that accompany Norris everywhere he goes? Where can I get that?
  • Did all 80's action flicks climax with a battle in a room full of chains? I mean, f--king chains! I imagined Stallone looking around and demanding We need more chains, guys. This is the f--king finale, people.
  • And finally, this line: We all do. This, friends, is truth.
Sometimes, I have no idea what he's saying. And I love it.
  • What the f--k was with Hemsworth's dog story? I love my dog, but this was ridiculous.
  • The safe opening scene was absurd. Oh shit! This door is spring loaded. And by that, I mean it will shut with enough force to sever a human body in half instantly. So, yeah, lean halfway in.
  • Does plutonium come in any other form other than weapon's grade?
  • Was the pedicure line sexist or racist? Or both? Oh, what a dilemma!
  • Three terrible lines: 1. Take off, Rover. 2. His name was Billy! (spit) and 3. You know how to carve a turkey? Wait, those aren't terrible. Those f--king rule.
The more I hang on to the past, the more I loathe the present, kind of like Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. Speaking of, maybe Clint needs to sign up for The Expendables 3. He could even bring a chair and pretend Wesley Snipes is in it.


  1. Good review M. Everybody here seems like they're having a fun-ass time just blowing shit up and shooting people down and to be honest, that made me have a lot of fun as well. Great to see all of the old stars back and hopefully this brings back JCVD to mainstream movies once again.

    1. More JCVD would be great, though this thing isn't making the scratch that I thought it would, and that might close the few doors that were going to open.

      IMDB lists a third as in the works. I'm definitely in. You?

  2. Great news here for you: they are actually talking to Clint Eastwood to star in the next movie as well as Harrison Ford and Nicolas Cage in addition to waiting for Wesley Snipes to get out of jail.

    I didn't like the first movie so expectations were low, but I freaking loved this one. Mega-yaaaay goes to JCVD wearing sunglasses in a mine of all places!!

  3. Regarding your news, I'm pretty much thinking no f--king way that happens but I would probably shit myself if it did. Cage could probably be coaxed with minimal effort, but the other two? Impossible.

    And yes, you are absolutely correct. That completely deserves a Yay. No doubt.

  4. "I really dig Statham and Stallone's tough guy banter, even if it's essentially retarded"

    "I imagined Stallone looking around and demanding We need more chains, guys. This is the f--king finale, people."

    "He could even bring a chair and pretend Wesley Snipes is in it."

    I really enjoyed this movie, it was so much fun though Statham yet again was not shirtless, that is a major BOO for me :)That review and especially those three quotes are amazing - you rock, sir!

  5. Thanks as always, Sati.

    I got a little carried away here, but I really did enjoy this flick. Good times!

    Hmmm. Didn't notice the lack of man-boobs, but I'll take your word for it. I did notice the lack of the good boobs, though. Couldn't the French nurse lady received her letter while taking a bath?

    I mean that's how I read my mail.

  6. Great review!

    "He could even bring a chair and pretend Wesley Snipes is in it."-Hilarious line.

    This was a blast to watch. Loved the Van Damme-Sly had all the goofy one-liners you want. "I'm going to man you up!" and "Over so soon? I want my money's worth!"

    We will have a write-up in November...after our semi-Halloween theme. All scary Halloween sounding action movies like Black Mask 2.

    1. Yeah, I was going to mention the 'man you up' line - so awesomely terrible.

      As for your semi-Halloween theme? I'm in. Might even join you. I have an unopened copy of Spooky Encounters I've been dying to watch.

  7. Cool! Looking forward to your Spooky Encounters write-up.

    1. I have had the flick for years and have heard nothing but great things. Have you seen it?

    2. Damn. And I skipped it in my Halloween madness...I'll get to it ASAP.