We wait decades to see these guys in a movie together, and this is the best they could do?
Sylvester Stallone’s original Expendables film was a complete misfire. Meant to be an homage to 80s action films, it was a pathetic attempt at recapturing the glory days of a bygone era. I couldn’t believe it when I heard there was going to be a sequel. Wasn’t one film enough? Apparently not, because Hollywood doesn’t have any original ideas anyway, so why not make a sequel to a one-off homage film?
The second movie adds a bunch of new characters, none of whom do anything important. The only new actor worth mentioning is Chuck Norris. He shows up, mid-film, like an indestructible god of war who obliterates everything in his path. He even has time to throw in one of those Chuch Norris Internet meme jokes. The most bizarre part wasn’t Norris himself, but the fact they used the theme song from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly as his character’s musical theme. Umm, last time I checked Norris was never in that film. They probably wrote the part for Clint Eastwood, but Eastwood wouldn’t agree to be in such a shitty film. Since they had already paid licensing fees to get the theme song, they said “Fuck it” and used it with Norris instead.
Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger get upgraded from cameos and partake in the action this time around. Even Jean-Claude Van Damme comes out of his cave to deliver a totally one-note villain. There isn’t anything else worth mentioning about this movie. The whole thing is about stunt casting. Stallone wants to get as many old movie “stars” as he can into these films at the expense of a decent story. It’s really quite a shame.
Get Carter (1971)
An average day in England.
Get Carter is a weird movie. Really weird. I guess since it took place in the early 1970s, everyone involved was as high as fuck while making this movie. The movie begins with a bunch of dudes hanging out, watching a porn slide show. Next, Michael Caine, who plays the titular Carter, learns his brother has died and goes back home for the funeral. He finds his dead brother stuffed into the smallest coffin imaginable, in a bedroom of his house. Um, lolwut? Is that what they do in England, keep dead bodies in the house until the funeral?
Later, Caine spends some time with the corpse, shaving and chatting on the phone. Caine doesn’t believe his brother died in a drunk-driving accident, he suspects foul play, so he begins to investigate. His investigation leads him to chase down bad guys in the cleanest, most-brightly lit nightclub on Earth where he interrogates a dude hiding on a toilet. Caine eventually sleeps with a nasty old bed-and-breakfast owner to prevent her from calling the cops on him for his violent ways. Caine gets into some more trouble, drives around town in a sports car, sleeps with some more women, and ruthlessly murders some other people. Caine plays a complete sociopath, displaying virtually no emotion whatsoever as he leaves mayhem in his wake. The only hint of emotion he shows is satisfaction after clubbing someone to death with the stock of a shotgun.
To say this movie is weird is an understatement. The characters exist in a bizarre waking-dream world that looks like England, but doesn’t actually take place anywhere on planet Earth. It’s also incredibly slow with all the interesting bits comprising about 15 minutes of the 2 hour runtime. It isn’t as boring as The ItalianJob but only because it’s so goddamn strange, you somehow can’t stop watching it. Weirder still is the total lack of music except in the beginning and ending of the film. Whatever these guys were smoking when they made this film, it must have been some powerful shit.
Harry Brown is a 2009 geriatric revenge movie starring Michael Caine. Although the movie takes place in England, the setting looks more like Hell itself. Crime is rampant with robbery, drugs, and pornography spilling into every street corner. Harry gets fed up with the violence, and decides the only way to put a stop to things is with more violence. He goes on a killing rampage, taking out all sorts of punk kids and drug dealers. When the bodies start piling up, the incompetent police force is completely impotent at tracking down the killer. It is obvious to everyone else that Harry is the killer, yet they still can’t figure it out. The police are led by Emily Mortimer who plays “super serious stuck up bitch”, a role she plays in every movie and has since perfected. The violence is portrayed in a realistic fashion, and the movie does take into account the fact that our titular septuagenarian has numerous medical conditions to grapple with while dealing out vigilante justice. At the end of the movie, nothing is gained, nobody learns any lessons, and the entire thing felt like an exercise in monotony.
God Bless America
Giving out justice to those who deserve it.
If Harry Brown was an elderly man of action who didn’t mince words, then the main character of God Bless America is a guy who likes to hear himself talk and takes action as seldom as possible. This movie stars Joel Murray who plays the washed up, less funny version of his brother Bill Murray. Oh wait, let me start over. Joel Murray plays a grumpy middle-aged dude who hates everybody and everything. He grows disgusted with the state of affairs in America as he watches TV drivel like American Idol, TMZ, My Super Sweet 16, and Charm School. Now, I can identify with him. These reality shows are the most fucking godawful things ever to air on TV. We’d be a lot better off if people like Kim Kardashian or Honey Boo Boo never became famous.
Eventually, things spiral out of control, and Murray and co-star Tara Lynne Barr go on a killing spree across America taking out the people they can’t stand like hardcore fundamentalist Christians and Republican pundits. The concept is totally awesome, because these people really are the scum of society. However, the execution of the movie left a lot to be desired. What should have been a madcap, frenzied, breathless killing spree was instead a slow, boring trudge from place to place. The two main characters kill someone, then spend the next 30 minutes talking shit about fame-whores, then kill the next person, and repeat. Instead of being a brilliant satire, it comes off more like the whining of a couple of losers who hate everybody. It’s sad because the concept of this movie is great, and it really deserved better. In the movie’s defense, it was well done (acting, directing, etc.), and there were several laugh out loud moments.
I watched The Dark Knight last summer in the theater just like everyone else in the world did. At the time I thought it was pretty awesome, and a year later I’ve seen it again, this time on DVD. So, how was it on a repeat viewing? Ehh, really, really long. What was the runtime of this movie, anyway? 347 minutes? Well, maybe not that long, but it sure felt like it was longer than the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, the director’s cut version.