Movie Report: The Expendables (2010)

Book coverI bought this movie during a spree in February, and I wasted no time in watching it. It’s a bonus pack with the film on DVD and on Blu-Ray, which worked nicely for me, for although I have both, only the DVD is hooked into the sound system and the Blu-Ray only plays through our nearly 20-year-old television (which we will keep for as long as we can because it is not a smart device). So I played the DVD version of it.

Basically, it’s kind of like The Avengers in that you have a number of action stars, Stallone, Statham, Li, Lungren, Terry Crews (who I have seen mostly in commercials, honestly), and some other guys (cameo by Schwarzeneggar, Mickey Rourke in a supporting role) are mercenaries. In the initial action sequence, one is a little too violent and gets expelled from the group. They pick up another assignment, to take out a dictator on a Caribbean or South American island who is just a front for a rogue CIA operative’s drug operation. Some action sequences, some betrayal by the discarded merc, and finis.

Statham and Stallone have the meatiest parts. I think Jet Li was a little underused, but he’s a martial artist in a world of firearms, so I suppose that’s to be expected. Overall, about as good as you would expect, which is not bad if you’re into actioners with blockbuster budgets.

The one thing I would have stuck a sticky note on were this a book, though, was Tool’s speech, where Mickey Rourke as a tattoo artist who supports but does not go on missions, describes how he lost his soul:

Gentle reader, that is the plot of Albert Camus’ The Fall, in a nutshell. And either Stallone or the other writer on the film David Callaham knew it. Given that Wikipedia sez that Callaham’s screenplay was only a starting point for the film, one must infer that Stallone has read The Fall.

A quick Internet search indicates that nobody else has recognized this as the source of the side story meant to burnish the development of the main character (who goes back to the island to save the girl before the splash), one must also infer that the Venn Diagram of people who watch movies like The Expendables and people who like Camus books is a picture of me.

Thanks for stopping by, and know that although I am not a genius like Dolph Lundgren (well, I once scored Trailer Park Genius on an IQ test), I am well-read. And a fan of actioners, big budget or not.

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