Sylvester Stallone Weekend – The Expendables (2010)

Director: Sylvester Stallone

Writer: Sylvester Stallone, Dave Callaham (Screenplay)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin

 

Plot: A CIA operative hires a team of mercenaries to eliminate a Latin dictator and a renegade CIA agent.


Tagline – Every movie has a hero. This one has them all.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mindlessly Entertaining Action Film

 

Story: The Expendables starts as we get to see Barney Ross (Stallone) and his team Lee (Statham), Yin (Li), Gunner (Lundgren), Toll (Couture) and Hale (Crews) eliminate a threat, to show just how capable they are at dealing with international threats.

Once home Barney is given a new assignment, to take out General Garza (Zayas) and James Munroe (Roberts) who are controlling an asset the government require, this soon turns into the five-man army taking on a full army.

 

Thoughts on The Expendables

 

Characters – Barney Ross is the leader of the mercenaries, he does play by a rule book, which sees him needing make a difficult decision with one of his team. He takes the latest job once he realizes that sometimes the impossible can make a big difference being a better all-around combat asset. Lee Christmas is Barney’s second in command, the one that Barney will turn to most, during this story he finds himself having lady problems and shows a man what will happen if you beat one up, he is also the knife expert on the team. Yin is the smallest member of the team, he is the martial artist of the team and is always worried about enough money for his family. Gunner is the member of the team which gets kicked out because he wants too much brutality in the missions, he has a drug problem which needs to be cleaned up before he could ever be considered back on the team. Eric Roberts is the businessman that has taken over the island, he is paying for everything even if it makes enemies out of the locals, he will strike fear into them with fear. Paine is the strongest member of Munroe’s team, he has been waiting for a challenge which Barney and his team will offer him.

PerformancesThis movie does have an all-star cast of action heroes, Sylvester Stallone does take centre stage here and does what he knows how to be, a lead action star, Jason Statham does this too, with a little more subtle side to his outside the business performance. These two both get the best action moments in the film. Jet Li does well with the action, but gets wasted outside of these moments, while Dolph Lundgren does what he can with a character that does have plenty more to offer to this film. Eric Roberts fits the generic villainous role, he doesn’t get enough time to make his character as memorable as he could have been.

StoryThe story follows a group of mercenaries that are hired to solve the militant control of a small island in the Gulf of Mexico. When it comes to the story, we don’t need too much, this film is more designed to show of the action stars of the movie industry. By keeping everything on the simple side we get an enjoyable story to see unfold, though it would have been nice to get some sort of character development about the crew. This story is easy to watch without ever needing to test us.

Action/AdventureThe action in the film is wildly over the top with a mix of guns, knives and hand to hand combat, all you would want from the cast we have here. The adventure side of the film does take our crew to a new island that they haven’t heard of before to make the events of the film happen.

SettingsThe film mixes the home that the men have back in America with the island that needs freeing, showing how they can and will adapt to any landscape they are placed in.


Scene of the Movie –
Fly by.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t get enough Jet Li.

Final ThoughtsThis is one movie that is purely for the action fans, it goes well over the top and deliveries you favourite action stars doing what they do best, shooting gun and fighting.

 

Overall: Fun Filled Action Film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – Y – Fearless (2006)

Director: Ronny Yu

Writer: Chris Chow, Chi-long To (Screenplay)

Starring: Jet Li, Li Sun, Yong Dong, Yun Qu, Ailiing Xu, Collin Chou, Hee Ching Paw

 

Plot: A biography of Chinese Martial Arts Master Huo Yuanjia, who is the founder and spiritual guru of the Jin Wu Sports Federation.


Tagline – “Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself makes you fearless.”

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Action Packed Biopic

 

Story: Fearless starts in Shanghai 1910, four countries have bought their best fighters for one tournament, Huo Yuanjia (Li) is the Chinese representative. We see how he went from small child wanting to learn, to become the best in his town, proving himself against every single competitor.

Master Huo became the best until he lost everything putting him in a lost state where he finds himself in a small farming community living with a blind woman Moon (Sun) as he looks to find his love for life again before returning to prove himself in combat.

 

Thoughts on Fearless

 

Characters – Huo Yuanjia is considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest fighter of all time in China, he didn’t have it easy though, he fought to become the best before losing everything, being talked into proving himself once again to be the best in the world. Moon is the lady that helps Huo turn his life around, a blind woman that has no judgement on his action only his work. Anno is the biggest rival to Huo one that is also a friend too, the two have learnt to fight together and soon become the best of enemies.

PerformancesJet Li is the complete star of this film, he is involved in the different time periods we follow and we get to see just how deadly he is in the combat with anybody that gets in his way, he keeps the character feeling grounded which is needed for the story being told. As for the supporting cast everyone makes their impact when required too.

StoryThe story follows the life of Huo Yuanjia as he started in a fighting school at a young age became the best before losing everything only to return with a new lust for life to become one of the mot respected fighters the world has ever seen giving Jin Wu Sport Federation something to stand for. This is a by the books redemption story for the character, he doesn’t break the law, he just becomes over confident which is why he lost everything, he continued to prove himself to the top of his game despite creating enemies. Where this film does fall slightly short is in the number of different times we follow with some not getting enough time to show the events with the bet impact.

Action/BiopicThe action is fights, Jet Li is one of the best in the world at the fight sequences, this was no different as he shows us just how to make fights feel edge of your seat. The biopic side of the film does show the like of Huo only it doesn’t give each chapter the time required.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to represent the different positions that Huo finds himself in life, we see how he has risen, fallen and fought his way through the different locations he finds himself in.


Scene of the Movie –
Final fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain chapters don’t get enough time.

Final ThoughtsThis is an action packed biopic that does show the life of one of the greatest fighters the world ever saw.

 

Overall: Action heavy biopic.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – W – War (2007)

Director: Philip G Atwell

Writer: Lee Anthony Smith, Gregory J Bradley (Screenplay)

Starring: Jet Li, Jason Statham, John Lone, Devon Aoki, Luis Guzman, Saul Rubinek, Ryo Ishibashi

 

Plot: An FBI Agent seeks vengeance on a mysterious assassin known as “Rogue” who murdered his partner.


Tagline – One wants justice, the other wants revenge.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Action Packed Twist Filled Film

 

Story: War starts when Crawford (Statham) and his partner Tom (Chen) are trying to locate the known assassin for hire Rogue (Li) the investigation takes a turn, when Tom and his family are murdered by Rogue. Joining a task force in hunt for Rogue, while watching over the two rival gangs the Triads and Yakuza, with Chang (Lone) and Shiro (Ishibashi) leading each side.

When Rogue starts playing both sides, Crawford sees the war coming, can Crawford finally get his hands on the man that killed his partner or will he become the latest victim of the mysterious assassin.

 

Thoughts on War

 

Characters – Rogue is the mysterious assassin that killed Tom’s whole family, he has been working for the Yakuza for years, but now he has switched sides to the Triads, he hasn’t been caught and is know for getting facial reconstruction to hide his identity. Rogue does have his own plans for his latest job which sees him going head to head with Crawford. Crawford is the FBI agent that is sees his partner murdered, he has been chasing Rogue for years and now he will do everything he can to final catch him and end his reign of terror, which has cost him his own wife. Chang is the leader of the Triads that has been able to keep business from persona life, he easily trust a former enemy though. Kira is running the operations for the Yakuza in San Francisco for her father being the only person he can trust.

PerformancesJet Li was in his prime during the mid-2000s, this shows he could be the cold-hearted killer, just as deadly with a gun than his fists. Jason Statham continued to make an impact on the action genre, he works well in this role being the detective we need for the film. John Lone, Devon Aoki and Ryo Ishibashi complete the supporting cast with effective ability doing what is needed for the film.

StoryThe story follows an FBI agent tracking a mysterious assassin who killed his partner, which sees him reappear when two rival gangs are about to go into full blown war. This does seem like a story that is going down one simple line, it is very busy with four different people planning their attacks to stay on top of the game. This is an action story that does get elevated by the final act which does turn everything on its head, making you want to go back and see if you can pick up on the clues being laid.

Action/CrimeThe action in War is combat based, be it the hand to hand fights or the gun flying around making the body count rise. We are completely in the criminal underworld of the Triad and Yakuza war.

SettingsThe film is set in San Francisco which shows us how America has become overrun by international gang wars looking to expand their businesses.


Scene of the Movie –
Shiro versus Rogue fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain flashbacks are annoying.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great action packed movie that is well worth a watch, it does have a killer twist which will make it stand out from the rest.

 

Overall: Wonderful action packed film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – F – The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)

 

Director: Rob Minkoff

Writer: John Fusco (Screenplay)

Starring: Jet Li, Michael Angarano, Jackie Chan, Juana Collignon, Morgan Benoit, Jack Posobiec, Yifei Liu, Bingbing Li

 

Plot: A discovery made by a kung fu obsessed American teen sends him on an adventure to China, where he joins up with a band of martial arts warriors in order to free the imprisoned Monkey King.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Martial Arts Film

 

Story: The Forbidden Kingdom starts as we meet outsider teenager Jason (Angarano) who has a love for kung fu movies, his life is tipped upside down when he ends up in Ancient China with an important weapon, but no one speaks his language. Once in China Jason meets Lu Yan (Chan) a drunken master that helps him return the weapon a staff to the Monkey King (Li) the only man that could stop the Jade Warlord (Chou) reign of terror.

Jason becomes Lu Yan’s student as he joins him on a quest to save the Monkey King, where they are joined by the Golden Sparrow (Liu) on their journey, where the enemies come thick and fast, Jason will need to learn who to trust though.

 

 

Thoughts on The Forbidden Kingdom

 

Characters – Jason is an American teenager who loves kung fu, he is a loner but soon finds himself transported back to Ancient China in the middle of a battle against the Jade Emperor’s reign of terror. Here he must learn the skills he loves on an adventure he could never have dreamed off. Lu Yan is one of the eight immortals living, his elixir is wine, he takes Jason under his wing to head to release the Monkey King. The Silent Monk also joins the journey as another great warrior in need of fighting his way to the give himself the freedom. Golden Sparrow also joins the party as she is fighting for revenge against the Jade Emperor for slaughtering her family. Ni Chang is the general set to retrieve the staff from Jason for the Jade Warlord, she is beautiful and deadly showing why she was the first choice by the warlord.

PerformancesMichael Angarano is the teenager, he performs well with the highly trained talent within the film. Jackie Chan and Jet Li are the big draws for this film, they bring the skills and get to have some fun in their roles. the female leads are strong too, with Yifei Liu and Bingbing Li both showing their skills in combat with the elite in the industry.

StoryThe story follows the loner that gets transported to the time he loves, in this case Ancient China where he finds himself in the middle of an ancient battle for power. This is a routine story that brings two of the biggest icons of martial arts together for the world audience. We have the elements of our teenager learning and the characters that fit the film wonderfully throughout to tell the story of redemption needed to complete their destinies.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action is big like you would expect in any martial arts film, with have plenty of fights for both Chan and Li to show off their skills. The adventure takes out unlikely hero from the streets of Boston to Ancient China in what is a fantasy world of immortals, witches and warlords.

SettingsThe American settings show just how far our teenager will go on his adventure, while the ancient Chinese setting shows us the old traditions that Jason must learn to stay alive.

Special EffectsThe effects are the weakest part of the film, we have certain moments that look genuine, but they are soon followed by moments you can almost see the stunt being performed.


Scene of the Movie –
Final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is slightly too by the book.

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice fun enjoyable action adventure film, it doesn’t take things too seriously and can be enjoyed by all martial arts fans.

 

Overall: Enjoyable and fun throughout.

Rating

 

 

The Expendables 3 (2014)

logoDirector: Patrick Hughes

Writer: Sylvester Stallone, Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikit (Screenplay) Dave Callaham (Characters)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Kelsey Grammer, Antonio Banderas, Victor Ortiz, Ronda Rousey, Kellan Lutz, Jet Li, Glen Powell

 

Plot: Barney augments his team with new blood for a personal battle: to take down Conrad Stonebanks, the Expendables co-founder and notorious arms trader who is hell bent on wiping out Barney and every single one of his associates.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mindless Enjoyment

 

Story: The Expendables 3 stars by Barney (Stallone) and his crew trying an ambitious assault on a train to rescue Doc (Snipes) cue the over the top opening action sequence. Barney, Doc along with Christmas (Statham), Gunner (Lundgren) and Toll Road (Couture) meet up Caesar (Crews) and go off onto the next mission. This mission will bring them face to face with an old enemy who was long thought dead Stonebanks (Gibson). Beaten down Trench (Schwarzenegger) and new addition Drummer (Ford) get and give the next status update before gearing up to take on Stonebanks again.

Barney decides not to risk his long-time friends on the next mission and along with old associate Bonaparte (Grammer) helps him build a new younger team which includes Thorn (Powell), Mars (Ortiz), Luna (Rousey) and Smilee (Lutz). With his team together and an old favour called in on Trench, Barney sets out to stop Stonebanks. The plans seems to go down well but Stonebanks has a plan and this leads to Barney’s new team getting captured leaving Barney to go back alone but Galgo (Banderas) joins him before Barney’s old team show up to join him in saving the day and rescuing his old team.

The Expendables 3 is never going to be a film to challenge you on a story level, it does all we want when we go to see an action film with any of these stars in. I do feel this one tries to make the story slightly more personally and also tries to pass the baton onto a younger cast without dismissing the originals. Let’s be honest we don’t care what the story is really about we just want to see these guys and girl this time kick ass and survive impossible odds. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Sylvester Stallone: Barney the leader of the unit known as the Expendables he faces tough choices when an old enemy he thought was dead returns and wants revenge on him and his team. Sylvester does a good job in the role that is all enjoyable from him. (7/10)

 barney

Jason Statham, Wesley Snipes, Randy Couture, Terry Crews and Dolph Lundgren: Lee Christmas, Doc, Toll Road, Caesar and Gunner. I have decided to look at each team. First the originals with the addition of Wesley Snipes all the characters are fun poke fun at their age compared to the new team. (7/10)

original

Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger: Drummer and Trench while both are with CIA both work with Barney to get Stonebanks. Both the actors get to pole fun at themselves and in Ford character stick the fingers up to Willis via Stallone’s script. (6/10)

 drummer

Glen Powell, Victor Ortiz, Ronda Rousey, Kellan Lutz: Thorn, Mars, Luna and Smilee when Barney needs a younger team he picks this group of misfits who can bring the fight into the next era. All four do well with their limited screen time and look like they could fit in with any of the rest of the cast. (7/10)

 team

Mel Gibson: Stonebanks an old friend turned enemy against the Expendables he is now a war criminal that has to be bought down. Mel does a good job while trying to do the same and Van Damme last time out. (7/10)

 gibson

Antonio Banderas: Galgo the man desperate to prove himself who gets shot down at first but finally gets his chance. Antonio does a great job and is easily the scene stealer this time around. (8/10)

 banderas

Director Review: Patrick Hughes – Patrick gives us everything we have come to expect from these stars, plenty of guns a blazing. (7/10)

 

Action: The Expendables 3 is full of action be it fire fights, hand to hand combat or just blowing stuff up. (9/10)

Thriller: The Expendables 3 does struggle to bring the tension to the party but you can forgive it because of the action. (4/10)

Chemistry: The Expendables 3 has great chemistry between the cast showing a real unite between them all. (9/10)

Settings: The Expendables 3 uses it settings to make a good combat scene showing how far into conflict these characters will go. (9/10)

Suggestion: The Expendables 3 is one for the action junkies to enjoy, don’t expect anything serious just sit and enjoy it. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Banderas steals the film.

Worst Part: Still not enough Jet Li.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final Showdown

Funniest Scene: Banderas introduction.

Favourite Quote: Lee Christmas ‘You were stupid enough to get yourself into this mess! And we’re the only ones crazy enough to get you out of it!’

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has talks

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Any action films that these guys have done

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $206 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes

Tagline: New team. New attitude. New mission.

 

Overall: Does Exactly What it Says on the Tin

Rating 74