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Review: The Expendables 2 by Jamie

 

BANG!!! BOOM!!! FURTHER EXPLOSION NOISE FOLLOWED OR PRECEDED BY A CHEESY ONE LINER!!! Yes, I don’t think I’m giving away too much when I put forth exactly what’s expected of the sequel to The Expendables nor am I really entering spoiler territory when I say that, yes, the film has explosions, gunfights, gratuitous violence, call backs to the stars previous films and veins that bulge in a way that truly, truly disgusts me. Yes, it’s exactly what you expect, yet another throw back to the 80s when action heroes were real men, quick on the draw and even quicker with a quip and my sweet fucking God, it is awesome.

To write a synopsis of the “plot” would be an insult to the words synopsis and plot. The story is so threadbare that you couldn’t use it to make a sweater for a fly. Stallone good, Van Damme bad. There. Honestly though, the lack of a plot is fine with me. As long as I get to see some ass kickery and men who are old enough to really know better doing stupid, awesome things. More men who are old enough to know better join the cast in the form of the previously mentioned Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris. Hell, why not add an actor just to satisfy an Internet joke that’s almost as old as the main stars of this film? And no, Norris can’t act. Hell, I’m a better actor and my experience only includes playing a Roman Emperor in a school play when I was 9 and playing a pretty much non-speaking gangster when I was 15. Arnie and Bruce Willis return with expanded roles and they really, really seem like they’re having a good time.

Now there is perhaps one problem I have with this film and that’s that the violence seemed as though it had perhaps been toned down a little. Yes, there were still some pretty sweet deaths and sprays of blood but it didn’t seem anything like the chaos of the last film. On the other hand there’s also a lot less time spent watching Stallone running like the man 4 years away from 70 that he is so maybe it’s a fair trade.

So that’s about all for the review because, honestly, you already know if you’re the type of person who is going to see this movie so this is really more a reassurance than a review. Yes, everything you want is there. Go, watch it and hope that they get Kurt Russell for number three. Laterz.



Review: The Expendables by Jamie

How do you review a film like The Expendables? You certainly can’t use the same standards you would when reviewing a film like Inception. You can’t judge a film like this based on it’s deep storyline. The Expendables sits in a class of it’s own in today’s movie landscape. It’s a throw back to a simpler time when action heroes were rarely introspective, were more muscle than man and used an array and amount of weaponry that would make militaristic dictators seethe with jealousy. That time was the 80s, when men were men unless they were New Romantics in which case men were god knows what.

This is possibly going to be my shortest review ever. I don’t wanna give away too much of what happens in the action scenes. I’ll just say that this film is everything you were hoping it would be. If you have testicles and even a passing interest in 80s action films then you owe it to yourself to see it. A warning to women though. There is so much testosterone on screen that you may leave the cinema with the beginnings of a beard and a voice that’s a few octaves lower. Things explode, people quip and Mickey Rourke in particular is awesome in the few scenes he’s in. Oh, and the scene between Arnie, Stallone and Willis is one of the most entertaining things I’ve seen all year. In short, this film is fucking awesome.

Is there anything bad? Well, whilst the film is a throw back to the classic 80s era of action the camera work certainly takes a bit of a cue from modern action films. At times it’s frantic, too close up and it can be difficult to make out what’s going on. Whilst Mickey Rourke is awesome, the rest of the acting is a little sub-par but then again these are action stars. You don’t go to see masters of the craft. Finally, for what little plot this film did have, it actually could have done (and this may be the only time I say this) with a little less. I suppose the story and sub-stories did lead to some pretty sweet action scenes so swings and roundabouts I suppose.

To sum up, go fucking see The Expendable. Do it! Do it now! It’s just really fucking fun. Four and a half pints out of five. Laterz



Review: Predators by Jamie

Remember ‘Predator‘? It was a film made in 1987 that rocked your world. It rocked it and it rocked it hard. Remember those iconic scenes like a group of badasses shooting the shit out of a jungle or Billy staying behind on the log to take the Predator on alone? Well the writers (Michael Finch, Alex Litvak), producers (Robert Rodriguez, John Davis, Elizabeth Avellan) and director (Nimrod Antal) of ‘Predators’ certainly remember those scenes and are happy to show you half-assed versions of them because, hey, doing something original would just be too much bother.

Now there are things here which weren’t just ripped wholesale from the original ‘Predator’ and those things, for the most part, were incredibly, incredibly dull. It was mostly scenes of people walking through a jungle and when they weren’t walking through a jungle they were spouting some of the most terribly written dialogue ever committed to film.

Maybe I’m being a bit too harsh. Maybe the problem is that I decided to watch the first and second Predator films before going to see this. Maybe all those scenes which were taken from the original seemed more like a nice, nostalgic homage to those who hadn’t seen the first one that day. All they did was reminded me of a far better, far less boring film. There’s none of the snappy dialogue that made even some of the slower scenes of that first film so fun to watch.

Again, maybe that’s not entirely fair. There were a few moments when I perked up and thought that something was finally going to happen. Generally anytime Topher Grace was on screen was quite fun as was the short time that Laurence Fishburne. They seemed to have the most developed and engaging characters which is a shame because they didn‘t get enough screen time and the rest of the characters just seemed to be stock characters who got barely any development whatsoever.

In the first film they managed to achieve character development through the interactions and dialogue of the characters as they trek through the jungle. You get an idea of who those characters are even though they do little more than trek through the jungle trying to hunt the hunter. In this film most of the dialogue seems to serve as little more than exposition especially the lines of Adrien Brody’s character who only seems to be there to figure out what’s just happened or what is about to happen and then explain those things to the rest of the crew.

There’s even a scene where Alice Braga relays the plot of the first Predator film. Why? Why does this need to happen? She could have explained that humanity had encountered these creatures before without essentially reading a synopsis of the first film. Like so much of this film, it just ends up being boring.

‘Predators’ also manages to piss me off by introducing these new, bizarre Predators which are apparently bigger and badder than the crab/vagina faced beasts we’ve come to now and love over the years. These new ones have slightly different faces with extended lower mandibles and as I say are apparently bigger though that’s kind of hard to ascertain during the film. Also they capture the Classic Predator’ types and hunt them as well. Why does this piss me off? Well because it just doesn’t make sense in the context of the series. Remember Jurassic Park 3? In that film a group of people go back to the same island that was in Jurassic Park 2 but this time there’s a bigger, badder carnivore there in the form of Spinosaurus. In the very beginning of the film it kills the T-Rex, beloved favourite dinosaur of many a human being. That was a dick move and it doesn’t make sense because that Spinosaurus probably should have shown up in Jurassic Park 2 if it was such a dominant carnivore on such a small island.

I have similar feelings about these new Predators. If they are so much more badass than the original Predators, how come we’ve never seen them before? I suppose you could say that these Predators do all their hunting by gathering specimens and bring them to game preserve planets but if this blood feud is as intense as it is implied in the film than how would the classic Predators get any hunting done without fear of being hunted themselves by these new Predators. It makes much more sense that one type would wipe out the other before resuming their normal hunting practices. Sigh. I guess I’m just over-analysing things as usual but I can’t help the way that my mind works.

Still the biggest problem with this is that the final showdown feels very Alien Vs Predatory. This time though you don’t have Xenomorphs, humans and Predators going at it. It’s Predator, human and Predator and that sucks just as hard. All right, it didn’t suck as much as Alien vs. Predator but it still wasn’t anything interesting.

So yeah, overall I was pretty damn disappointed with this film. I was so looking forward to it and it was just boring and that’s the worst crime a sci-fi, action film can commit. A lot of people have been saying that this is finally the worthy sequel that ‘Predator’ has been so deserving of. I’m sorry folks but I just don’t see it. Sure ‘Predator 2’ wasn’t a perfect film but it’s a helluva lot less boring than this tired, plodding piece of shit that does nothing we haven’t seen before. Even the Predator’s hunting dog things looked like someone had seen those dog things from ‘Avatar’ and said “Yeah, that’s what Predator needs. Let’s just add some spikes that would make their evolution and survival literally impossible.” Oh, and the less said about Adrien Brody’s American version of Jason Statham’s voice, the better.

Still it is better than both AVPs… I’ll give it that. Overall I rate Predators two pints out of five. One for some of spine-ripping scenes which were kinda cool and a half each for Topher Grace and Laurence Fishburne. Laterz.




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