KILL LIST - 10/10
a cold, brutal, intensely psychological, confrontationally nihilistic hate-fuck of a film. a slow-burn with an emphasis on the burn. can't recommend this enough.
the less i have to say about a film, the better it is. which brings us toooooooo;
EXPENDABLES 2 - 2/10
as someone who nursed at the muscled celluloid man-tits of 80's Action, these films should be the be-all-end-all of Reagonomics Rage Boners. why do they fall as short as Stallone's real height? i don't think it's because of their age, because it's a movie, and you don't have to be in your 20s to fire guns at broadly drawn evil foreigners.
that's it... ANYONE can do what they're doing here. that's the problem. Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, Van Damme, Lungren, Norris... for kids of the 80s they're the cinematic equivalent of our favorite super-heroes. they were more than just dudes shooting things, and that's all they are in the Expendables. there's NO imagination here. just a heavy reliance on past screen presences to carry the audience through an ultimately meaningless exercise. every 80s film cliche is rolled out not because they're beloved tropes, but because well, they HAVE to be there. the latent homosexuality (men fighting men to avenge the deaths of other men) is on display, so that's cool... and of course there's the eroticized final fight between our main hero and main villain. the heavy handed politics are mournfully absent, as that's the joyful ridiculousness of Stallone's 80s films (the Rambo movies and Cobra), the Death Wish sequels, Cannon Films and the like is equally derived from the macho conservative "re-fight Vietnam and murder hippies" revisionist fan-fiction of the scripts as it is the fetishized man-on-man ultra-violence. there's blood, but it's that CGI video game blood that evaporates when it hits the air.
the plot? Willis wants Stallone and his team of super-dudes and one sexy Chinese Girl to get a package that contains a blueprint (that's also a map i guess?) to a coal mine in Russia that contains weapons grade plutonium. they need this package so it doesn't fall into the wrong hand. well those wrong hands belong to Jean Claude Van Damme and his spooky neck tattooed Russian or Slavic or French semi-cultists. without spoiling too much, they get the package, begin harvesting the mine, and the Expendables have to stop them. along the way Chuck Norris pops up for no reason other than 80S (referring to both the decade and Norris' age), good guys hit every target dead on while the bad guys couldn't hit the broad side of dead elephant, and a pre-gaming audience of fat guys in track pants and Tapout shirts who think they're Brock Lesnar are all like FUCKYEAHBRAHREDBULL.
i also have to mention that in the Stallone-script pantheon of stupidly obvious names, he may have outdid himself with Jean Claude's character. the character's name?
i guess "A.N. Tagonist" and "Sir Evil
McBadguy" were a little too subtle.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis are barely in it, and they just spit out bad jokes about the time they were in Terminator and Die Hard. and in a sign that tells you just how far Chuck Norris jokes have jumped the shark (i mean for those of you who didn't know that they were bad rip offs from SNL's Bill Brasky sketches), when Walker, Texas Corpse makes his glorified cameo, much of it contains a Chuck Norris joke. for similar internet pandering, see "I'm the Juggernaut, Bitch!" in X-Men 3.
you know something... the Raid came out this week on DVD.
you should just watch the Raid.