35 thoughts on “Escape to the Movies: "The Expendables"

  1. Christopher says:

    I didn't think it was that bad, but it's mostly worth a rental rather than spending money at a theater. It's mostly forgettable, but the film's true flaw is the fact I didn't hate the bad guys. In Rambo, the baddies were FUCKING EVIL. You couldn't wait to see their head explode. Here, you don't really care what happens to these guys. Worst of all, the final kill was just plain boring.

    Personally, I think you are overemphasizing how shitty this movie was. Eat, Pray, Love was ten times worse since it had no damn plot. On any other weekend, it could have just been a forgettable summer action movie that you would have looked at, shrugged, and looked forward to next week's helping. But seeing Expendables tear down a truly imaginative (and fun) movie like Scott Pilgrim might have cranked your pissed off meter to eleven.

    Still, your critiques are all spot on. I just didn't hate it, but I pitied how much fun it could have been. And I pity how much this is going to kill future, imaginative film ideas. Still, at least Inception made money proving America doesn't have a completely, retarded film audience


  2. RyuKage says:

    I have not seen The Expendables, and I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in seeing it (it's really not my kind of movie). And I agree that it's a shame that Scott Pilgrim vs. The World placed 5th at the box office (frankly, deciding what movies will come out next with box office scores is like declaring a winner at the horse track before the race even begins).

    But this review for the movie was awful. You spent most of the time ranting about the audience who goes to see films like The Expendables, leaving only about a minute to glaze over what you didn't like about the film; as a critic, your job is to critique the film, not the filmgoer. And really? People who like a bad movie are scum?

    People who punch out helpless old ladies are scum. People who beat babies with bats are scum. People who make themselves out as these deep, intellectual guys but in reality are only doing that to get laid are scum. People who will kill another guy's parents and feed them to the child as chili are scum. People who enjoy awful movies might be a little dim in taste, but the worst people in the world? And this is coming from a guy who DESPISES the Transformers films, but that doesn't mean I despise the people who enjoy them.

    Also, while I'm here, I should mention that your Last Airbender review was pretty bad, too. I wonder if maybe you were so blown away by how bad Eclipse was that week that you were willing to go easy on TLA. I understand it's difficult (maybe even impossible) to fit a whole season of a TV show into a 100-minute film (frankly, I think that it would've worked better with an extra hour to actually develop the rushed plot or the nonexistent characters), but that's kinda like saying “it's okay that the E.T. Atari game sucked; the developers only had five weeks to work on it.” Maybe that is a tight fit, but at the deadline, it's still crap.

    The action and effects in TLA were actually pretty awful, IMO. They go way too spastic with the tai chi here, and as a result the effects don't flow with the movements of the benders at all, making it look like the benders perform a dance routine to make the elements move on their own. This is far different from the cartoon, where the elements move along with their bender.

    Music? Hardly remember it.

    Finally, Aasif Mandvi makes an effective villain how? He was about as intimidating as a feather pillow throughout this film.

    In short, sometimes your reviews can be hits, while others miss the movie itself and instead bludgeon things around the film a bit relentlessly. If you wanna rant about the fans or the haters, I recommend YouTube. 😛


  3. CrunchyEmpanada says:

    No, it's not that bad. It's at worst, a 2 out of 5. I'd give it a 3. It's very average. It's not good by any means. It's also not terrible. I didn't want to claw my eyes out. I didn't get stressed out by how bad it was. I just got bored sometimes.

    I never groaned. I didn't get pissed off. It didn't do anything terrible, and comparing it to either of the Transformers movies which did plenty of things terrible is unfair. It just didn't do anything particularly good.

    So you had a fangasm over Scott Pilgrim and don't like that this beat it out at the box office. Well, tough cookies. It doesn't affect what the movies were actually like. I like tons of movies that didn't do well at the box office. It doesn't change anything. Good movies will continue to be made, and mediocre and bad movies will too, just as it's always been.

    Come on Bob, certainly you've seen more movies than I have, you've definitely been around longer, I'm sure you notice that there was mediocre crap that made money in the 70's and 80's too, in addition to the good stuff. Cobra made a lot of money. It wasn't very good.

    And please. Scott Pilgrim isn't going to matter later. I'm betting it's going to end up like Watchmen. Very good, but the masses will forget about it in a year, and it won't really come up again. I'm sure even the geeks whom it appeals to will forget about it in a year as well.


  4. Clayton says:

    The movie is indeed THAT BAD. I also can't blame Bob for lashing out against the people who watched this pile of crap either (especially since the comments section on the Escapist is doing very little to PROVE HIM WRONG).


  5. Dav3 says:

    so by “f'n awful” you mean…what exactly?

    I can understand that it's not Rodriguez/Tarantino level fun. That would have been too much to hope for anyway.

    I can believe that the entire cast is phoning it in, and I was sure the moment I first heard about it there wouldn't be one shred of intellectually stimulating material.

    But I can't just imagine that it's really THAT bad. I mean, if it's THAT bad, shouldn't it be good? (I'm referring to the Ed Wood/Uwe Boll phenomenon)

    After all, there is a big difference between quality and enjoyability. That's a big reason why there's 4 or 5 Toxic Avenger movies and only 2 Triple X's


  6. akkuma420 says:

    I have to respectfully disagree with you Bob.
    It wasn't the best movie ever made, by far, but it was fun.
    It's like going to Taco Bell and expecting to get an authentic Mexican meal, its not gonna happen. It tastes good and you cant beat the price, but its not nearly as good as the original.
    This movie was going for that nostalgic feel, lots of explosions and all around just loud and fun, but it will never be what its predecessor was.
    If you walked into it expecting anything more, then yes, your not gonna be happy.
    Why would you walk into it expecting more? I mean it advertised itself as being “A MANS MOVIE!!!” you had to know what you where getting yourself into at that point.
    But I'm not here to argue your opinion, because it is your opinion, but, you convinced me to go see Scott Pilgrim again, because I hated that movie with a passion the first time I watched it, maybe you should do the same?
    By the way, Van Damme didn't turn down the movie because he thought he was “above” it, he said he didn't feel comfortable trying to compete with all the other star power on screen, but gimme a call for your next movie.
    One more thing, you really shouldn't insult your readers/viewers for having different movie preferences and tastes than you, just because some liked “The Expendables” and not “SPvsTW” does not make them scum of the earth meat heads.

    You took the words right out of my mouth.

    I say all this with much respect.


  7. Neue says:

    You know what I do when want to just have “fun” at a so called “fun” movie? I take my girlfriend to see New Moon and take a drink from our “Gatoraid” whenever we hear the words “Jacob”, “Edward”, “Bella”, “Vampire”, “Werewolf”, and see some one in flannel.

    We could barely walk. THAT was fun.

    I have a hard time accepting someones appraisal of a movie as just being “fun”, as it almost always means it's a total pile of shit, and the only way someone can rationalize its total and complete lack of artistic merit is by saying “Yeah it sucks, but it was fun!”

    When did that become okay, again? When did so many of us become cool with movies where you actually HAVE TO switch off your brain to enjoy them?

    In my crazy la la world, I don't praise movies because they are maybe able to distract me for a while with a bunch of pyro.

    Guess I'm just nuts…


  8. Q says:

    A lot of the defenders of this movie are really overlooking the fact that this movie really shouldn't be as bad as it is. I mean it. There is nothing, and I do mean nothing, keeping this film from being good. Why is it not 'so bad it's good?' because it's trying to be. Why is this movie as bad as 'Eat Pray Love' because that movie knew what it was trying to be and pretty much did it unlike the 'Expendables'. And really why shouldn't it be a Rodriguez/Tarantino fun type of movie? Do you know how many f–king directors were influence by Pulp Fiction who can do Grindhouse-esque with ease. Edgar Wright, Gui Richie, Matthew Vaughn, Tory Duffy… They're not that hard to find.

    There was no f–king excuse for this movie. The thing that make this on par with Transformers is its pure hack-ery. And thing that makes it irritating to watch is the pure feeling of isolation you feel because you just know that no matter how bad this movie is; there's still going to be a legion or whorish fans willing to defend it.

    No offense to those here though, I know that most of you are decent people.


  9. Andrew says:

    I think he meant Rambo first blood part 1.

    This is not a Man's film, a man is a complex creature driven by values and standards.

    This is a film for ADHD suffering teenage boys.

    There is nothing wrong with tht it's just that they had all the ingredients to make a really good film but then messed it all up.

    It's the disappointment that burns.

    What further irritates is that the people who are saying it is awesome are listing the ingredients but don't seem interested in a critical assessment of the film as a whole.

    Sure, I like mayonnaise, I like fresh orange juice, I like Baileys, I like tobasco and I like chocolate spread but I certainly wouldn't want to drink a smoothie made of all that stuff.



  10. Adam says:

    I'm glad to hear people dislike this movie. Unfortunately I live with a number of 'men' who not to put to much of a stereotype on the situation, grew up in TEXAS and thinks the best way to answer the door when a Jehovas Witness knocks is with a barking attack dog and a loaded AR-15. (the AR-15 comes up at least 1 time per conversation regardless of topic or length)

    This is what I like to call a 'trailer' movie. The announcement of the movie had me thinking this could be really good. The first trailer when I saw nothing but the film banking on the 'oh my god we have so many action stars!' angle made me just shake my head, for I already knew how this was going to end.

    Hopefully the international market helps smack the box office gross around. It's just to bad that in America people are apparently so afraid of appearing gay they'll overcompensate and pretend that things blowing up and guns make a movie good. Because when I think straight, yeah I think of 20 sweaty men on screen for 2 hours.


  11. Rob says:

    I'm not going to disagree that the movie doesn't add anything to the action genre and that acting and scenes were lackluster. I'm DEFINITELY not going to disagree that they could have done much MUCH better. I'm CERTAINLY not going to pull off the whole “IT'S JUST A FUN, MINDLESS MOVIE” thing cause that's really just an excuse.

    However, I can't help but feel emotionally hurt at being called a sheep because I saw it in a theater and had paid money for it, and for not walking out in disgust. I like ya MovieBob and I respect you and your thoughtful analyses on everything (wish you had an e-mail so I could praise you more in-depth). In this instance however, I feel akin my dad calling me a worthless failure for liking D&D instead of football.

    The Expendables was just a lackluster action movie, but I don't consider it the same kind of jocular, cultural disgrace like the Transformers movie or Halo (oh crap I'm gonna get lynched for this one) which filter geek-centric media through the filter of douchebaggery.

    It's a vanilla action flick…somewhat enjoyable with little aftertaste and nothing particularly memorable for good or ill. After the summer no one's going to remember it, and certainly not going to be tossing themselves off in glee over it. In truth it's more a PRODUCT of the generic, macho mainstream entertainment industry rather than an instigator of a new line of generic, macho mainstream entertainment.

    Aaanyway, I don't think Scott Pilgrim is gonna be buried under the dross of cheap Hollywood blockbusters.

    But the point is…my feelings are hurt, Bob. Why'd you have to call me names? :<


  12. Funky Al says:

    I don't think you should be as annoyed by The Expendables as you are. Sure, it probably wasn't as good as Scott Plgrim, (I haven't seen TE, but there's no way in hell it was better than SP) but it will be all but forgotten this time next year. Scott Pilgrim was born to be a cult film, and it shall become one. Twenty years from now, it'll probably be more popular than it is now.
    Anyway, I wish you'd reviewed Piranha 3D, too. From the looks of it, it's going to ACTUALLY be so bad it's good. You just don't get that very often anymore.
    Seriously, had MST3K started up years later and been forced to review OUR movies, it wouldn't be a third as good.


  13. tyra menendez says:

    Is it just me, or does Piranha look like a slightly more expensive Sci-Fi Original Movie, put into theaters? (I know the Sci-Fi channel changed it's name, but I refuse to type it, that way) I see that clip of the fish jumping the guy, out of the water, and I flash back to, like, three different clips I've seen, on The Soup.


  14. SupernovaMutt says:

    I've got to agree with Rob up there on all acounts.

    Now Bob, you are one of my favorite internet personalities, and one of my favorite people to listen to pontificate on just about anything. Wether I disagree or agree, yours is an opinion I'm always glad to listen to.

    But that sheeple comment really hurts.

    Its not like with Transformers ROTF where it was a sequel to an incredibly bad movie helmed by an incredibly tasteless director, so it was pretty obvious that anyone who saw it was a cultural pollutant.

    This is just a junky, crappy action movie, advertising with a list of names because they knew thats what gets people into the seats. Yes Im scared of the buisness ramifications of that 35 mil brought in too, but that wont change the fact no one will remember it in a week and Scott Pigrim ensured itself cult status on visuals alone.

    Its sad when insubstantial trash like this makes that much of aprofit, and I hate how I supported this film in any way, but the sheeple comment isnt fair.

    except for the people who went and saw it more than once, yeah they can piss off.


  15. JDude says:

    Hey, idiots. Get with the program here:

    MovieBob is a visionary and renaissance man, and will revolutionize the reviewing business.

    If you disagree with him, it is because you're stupid, stuck in the past with your backwards thinking and non-understanding of the true heart of film and gaming. If you want to learn, listen to MovieBob, and shun all others. Otherwise, sit and wallow in the blindness of the mainstream.


  16. Murderbunny says:

    I liked your review, though, as others have said, it's not very productive to attack the fans when your real target is the shitty movie.

    I haven't seen The Expendibles, but both you and The Spoony One have encouraged me to go right on missing it. It doesn't look horrible, but it does look lazy and mediocre when it should have been pure distilled awesome.


  17. Neue says:

    I kinda have to say, as an after thought, that I'm a little disappointed in the whining going on about Bob's attacks on the idiots that shelled out money to see this shit storm.

    Grow up. Your bloody nerds for fucks sake!


  18. Gaider Draco says:

    I agree with you Bob 99% of the way except that we may have been watching a different final 20 minutes because the final 20 minutes of The Expendables was wall to wall blood and guts. It was entirely CG was it was there; Terry Crews liquidated people with his auto-shotgun.

    But the movie still sucks because I was expecting a higher budget version of Rambo (2007) and only was given a stupid comedy.



  19. Andrew says:

    Yes we are nerds.

    However telling nerds to grow up is like telling G W Bush not to be an idiot.

    By the way, to continue the theme of being childish:

    You're bloody nerds for fuck's sake!

    Would be the correct form of that sentence.

    Apostrophes: Get some, keep the edge.


  20. Joe says:

    O Bob, why didn't I listen to you? You steer me right at least 95% of the time, and I should have listened to you here as well. I guess I had to see how bad it was for myself.

    You were right about everything. The action was poorly executed and filmed, the dialogue (when I could understand Stallone's mumbling) was dreck and didn't even have any good one-liners. Li, Crews and Lundgren could have been used way better. It had none of the fun carnage of the last Rambo either. This whole thing played like a direct-to-video B-action film from the early 90s.

    The only thing that kept from walking out of the theatre was Jason Statham. He's been in some crappy films before, but he always brings a sincerity to his role that I can't help but like. His character was the only one I was allowed to empathize with at all.

    I should have seen Scott Pilgrim again.


  21. Doug says:

    Aw, poor wittle baby upset dat scotty wotty flopped at the box office? So you have to insult everyone who went to see The Expendables because of it?

    Funny how you call people who went to see it, and the people were at least impressed by the trailer, sheep for falling for it… yet you order everyone not to go see this, and also begged everyone at the end of your last review to go see Scott Pilgrim. Yeah, I guess being a shepherd is fine when it's about something YOU like. :3


  22. RocMegamanX says:

    So, because I'm more open-minded to this movie, that makes me a worthless human being?

    Granted, it has its flaws, like Couture, Li, and Crews not getting as much screen time as Stallone or Statham.

    But my sister wants to see it, I watched it with her, and we enjoyed it. What? Do we have to watch only dramatic works by Scorsese or Darren Aronovsky in order to be classified as “smart”? To be truthful, I haven't read the Scott Pilgrim comics yet, so therefore, I haven't watched the movie. Who's heard of the Scott Pilgrim comics before the movie came out? Only a handful of people. That's why Scott Pilgrim only scored 5th in the Box Office. Watchmen didn't make that much money either. Who recognized that graphic novel before the movie came out?

    I also liked the Schwarzenegger cameo.

    So what if it wasn't Saving Private Ryan or the old Rambo movies? Why can't we simply enjoy movies without being told that we're wrong? Why can't we just call certain movies guilty pleasures?

    I have to say, Bob, this kinda knocks your Moviebob side down a peg and your Game Overthinker side up. At least you're harsh toward games that deserve it, so I don't care about that.


  23. rorschach348 says:

    I have seen and enjoyed both The Expendables and Scott Pilgrim. I acknowledge that The Expendables is a disappointment for it's large amount of hype, but still enjoyable. I also acknowledge that Scott Pilgrim is a great film.

    But I also acknowledge that it's stunningly clear to anyone with a cluster of brain cells that Moviebob's own bitter geekness about Scott Pilgrim's flop is fueling his rage against The Expendables from dislike to loathe.


  24. Joshua says:

    not one memorable death scene…

    Did any one else see that brutal reverse face kick that jet Li did to that British type bad tough guy near the end…..

    Yeah you all know the one i mean…. that was totally the type of move that would have got US all as kids rewinding the VHS to watch over and over…..
    But hey don't listen to me… i liked Prophecy ….. Christopher Walkan was hard core as Gabriela


  25. Jason says:

    I saw it. It wasn't that bad at all. It wasn't that good, but it also wasn't bad.

    What it definitely wasn't is worth a rage like we see in Bob's review.


    PS: That death noted above (where Li kicks the guy's head off) is definitely memorable, as were a few other scenes. Bob needs to see it again when he gets off the rag and maybe he'll have a different opinion.


  26. Suckmyballsbob says:

    Bob, u mad?

    And lets make something clear. About you saying something like “Jet Lee would kick most of the cast members asses in RL”. Well… apart from being a nerd, and a fat boy with no martial arts or gym experience, you are ignorant. Get real, Randy Couture is MMA heavyweight and lightheavyweight champion, he just beat the shit out of world champion boxer James Toney. He would fuck Lee up so bad it wouldn't even be funny 😦

    Plus, weight issue… apart from old Stallone, everyone in the crew outweighs him by at least 50 pounds, and in a real fight that is a significant advantage. Plus Statham, Lundgren, Rourke & Austin are martial artists themselves.

    And FINALLY, as for fight choreography, again, you have no clue. Kung fu stuff, spinning flying kicks and that shit DOES NOT WORK in a fight… those 30 seconds of wrestling at the end were as real as it gets action. Apart from shaky camera and some flashy stuff it was a pretty realistic fight depiction, unlike most kung fu movies.

    P.S. you ask for my google account password for verification. Damn, you are a little bitch too. 🙂


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