5 Reasons Why You Must See 'The Expendables'
There is something happening this week that will redefine the word "epic." A film is being released that is so macho, so chocked full of testosterone and explosions that it could very well punch its way off the screen and shatter your sternum. I’m talking about The Expendables. Directed and co-written by Sylvester Stallone and featuring a cast that reads like a who’s who of action gods, The Expendables is the kind of film actionphiles like myself have been dreaming about ever since we first saw Die Hard … and Terminator … and First Blood. As superfluous as it may be, given all the terribly obvious awesomeness inherent in the concept, here are five reasons you must see The Expendables.
Warning, there may be some spoilers ahead for some of you!
1. You Are a Man
If you are reading this, and you are male, you owe it to our species to get your ass to the theater the moment this powder keg of machismo is set alight on Friday. The decision to purchase a ticket to see it is not so much a simple choice as it is a test of one’s own manhood. Stallone has managed to collect our heroes like action figures and drop them into a world wherein they actually coexist. I’m not saying women are not welcome to see the film, but they should be warned that this film is so manly that it very well may impregnate them before the final credits.
2. Opening Scene
Like so many action films (and, actually, like most films in general) the opening scene sets the tone for the entire movie. I don’t remember the last time I held my breath -- literally -- in such anticipation during a film. When the familiar voices appeared from the rafters with guns trained on enemies, I was cognizant that some serious poo was about to hit the fan. What I could not have anticipated was the degree of apathy for human life, unparalleled in any of the combined films of our illustrious cast. Ever seen a Somali pirate explode from the waist up? Oh, you will.
3. The Church Scene
The trailers teased us for months with footage of a conversation between Bruce Willis, Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. I did not anticipated the brevity of this exchange (though by all rights I should have), but its truncated nature did little to detract from the screen-melting luminance of these three sharing a scene. The moniker of "titan" has never been more apt than when applied to this triumvirate, and their conversation tosses the most self-aware nods to the fans. Watch for the far-too appropriate halo of light in which Arnold is bathed as he enters.
4. The Stallone/Stone Cold Fight
You could have given me 100 guesses as to which clash of manpower would pack the greatest punch and I would have never guessed it would be Sly vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin. But dear sweet mother of muscle if these two don’t absolutely bring it. These are two guys who have devoted their lives to their respective violent crafts, so it shouldn’t have been so great a surprise. For me this was an absolute dream as my childhood hero of the squared circle went toe-to-toe with my cinematic hero. The fight is well-shot, brutal, and its sheer force shakes the room to the point that you feel as if, just sitting in the audience, you may emerge with a black eye.
5. Jason Statham
Of all the action movie legends in The Expendables, the surprising standout is Jason Statham. I’ve been a big fan of Statham ever since his Guy Ritchie collaborations, but his jump to major action star still delightfully befuddles me. There is nothing in his early work that would have hinted at his action-hero proficiency but that doesn’t stop me from loving The Transporter and Death Race. He steals the movie and his fight scenes are both high-impact and incredibly fast; he's a martial arts powerhouse. I lost count of the amount of times the audience applauded after he brutalized a cadre of baddies.