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You may have seen the trailers, touting it as the “manliest movie ever made”.  That’s right, Sylvester Stallone has taken his years of experience making manly movies and applied it to make what is supposed to be the Manliest Movie of All.  I’m speaking, of course, of The Expendables. 

 

Yes, I went to see it.  I was one of 6 other women in the theatre.  I know this because my man-whore friend who was with me wanted to date every girl he saw walk in, and was therefore keeping track of how many there were.   Aside from him, I was with my brother and my little Japanese dancing buddy.  I think it was a healthy spectrum of male personages.

 

What was the consensus as we all walked out of the theatre?  That yes, Sylvester Stallone had, in fact, fulfilled on his promise and created one of the greatest actions films of all time.  

 

Don’t get me wrong, the thing was utterly ridiculous.  I mean…completely.  From the opening

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 scene when a bad guy is shot with a gun so powerful that his torso explodes, right through Ol’ Sylvester sprinting down the dock and leaping into a taxiing airplane, till the grand finale of all fighting, all fire, explosive mayhem and destruction.   I would worry about giving you spoilers, but honestly, you know what this movie is from the moment it begins.  Pure, unadulterated, action.  Plot incidental.  

 

There is a sort of half-hearted effort at a story, and even character development.  I think there is something about a beautiful woman and a ruthless dictator?  But really, all that only exists to open up to us doors to further action.  Take, for instance, Jason Statham’s character.  As one of the younger men in the cast he was the only one allowed to have even a hint of a relationship (albeit, a faltering one).  What is this? Am I sensing some Drama?  Of course not!  We just needed an excuse to set ol’ Handsome Rob loose on a basketball court full of punks who thought they were bad-ass until they met a REAL man.  And an excuse for the fantastically corny line “Now you know what I do for a living.” And the unstated, yet still perfectly clear “Now get on my bike wench, and try not to faint from my overwhelming manliness.”

 

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But who are we kidding?  You don’t go to a movie touting a cast that includes Rambo, the Terminator, John McClain, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Jet Li (pick any of his characters), The Transporter, Alex Grady, and Ivan Vanko and expect it to be anything but guns and knives and lots and lots of death.  And to be frank, I’m glad Stalone didn’t try to make it anything more.  It would have ruined it.  In the words of my brother “It was simply a vehicle to get you from one fight scene to the next, with nothing to distract you in between.  Perfect!”

 

I hesitated to bring it up there with the guys, but I did have one complaint.  In a movie this big and this ridiculous, I admit, I rather expected the special effects to be a tad better.  On the other hand, their vague ridiculousness simply added to the overall tone of the film.  And where, had they been more realistic, I might have had to to cringe away from some of the more…violent…fights, as it was I instead was laughing my head off.  

 

I think it was the sly humor that really made this movie.  Never once did it take itself too seriously.  And there were some hysterical winks to the audience that really just topped it off.  Like the show down between the UFC fighter and the WWE wrestler.  And the parting shot at Schwarzenegger.  And the constant harping on Jet Li’s height (“When I get hit, the hole is bigger!  Cause I’m littler! “)  

 

So…final verdict is that if you want explosions and really big guns, you need to see this movie.  It delivers exactly what it promises, and it is a lot of fun.  Don’t be expecting anything great, or deep, or thought-provoking.  But do expect to see some serious ass-kicking.  Yes, I’d definitely recommend it.

 

 Oh, and one last thing.   To my six fellow females in the audience…you rock ladies.  I was proud to be in your company.  

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