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

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior (2008)

Director: Russel Mulcahy

Writer: Randall McCormick (Screenplay) Stephen Sommers (Characters)

Starring: Michael Copon, Randy Couture, Natalie Becker, Karen David, Simon Quarterman, Tom Wu, Andreas Wisniewski

 

Plot: In Ancient Akkad, Mathayus grows up as the proud son of Ashur, a captain in the world-renowned military corps of Black Scorpions, first-rate bodyguards, most of which are sent to courts wide away. By objecting to young Mathayus joining the corps, Ashur incurs the undying enmity of ruthless generalissimo Sargon, gets killed and the orphaned knave is shipped off to a desolate training camp for six years by king Hammurabi’s clemency. When he returns as a Black Scorpio, Sargon has bloodily seized the throne and demands cruel proof of blind loyalty. Mathayus refuses, becoming a chased hero. With youth friends, the resourceful Greek Pollux and various mercenary warriors, he embarks on a daring quest to obtain a legendary sword from Sargon’s magical ally, the war-goddess Astarte.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Re-Writing Mythology Sequel

 

Story: The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior starts with an origin story, yay, Mathayus’ father Ashur was part of the elite warriors known as thee Black Scorpions but objects of his son following in his footsteps but after Mathayus finds himself training under the ruthless general Sargon (Couture) making an early enemy within the kingdom. When his father is killed by Sargon, Mathayus has no proof, so he sets out to prove himself by learning the ways of the Black Scorpions, but upon his return Sargon has risen to power.

When Mathayus (Copon) refuses to surround blind loyalty to Sargon, he learns the strength he posses with the dark arts and must train to return to bring down the tyrant Sargon with the help of friends along the way including old friend Layla (David), Ari (Quarterman) and Pollux (Wisniewski) who must first fight against the Minotaur.

 

Thoughts on The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior

 

Characters/PerformanceMathayus is the young warrior trained in the art of the Black Scorpion which again goes against everything we have learnt in the first two films. But away from these strange new character developments, he is mostly just a warrior seeking revenge for the murder of his father. Layla is the strong adventurous woman that wants to be a warrior and love interest for Mathayus. Sargon is the deadly warrior who has become king, he has used the dark magic to gain his power and makes for a great opposition for Mathayus.

Performance wise, Copon doesn’t reach the levels we have come to expect from this character with Johnson’s ability in the leading role. Karen David is good in the lead lady role with Couture struggling to make the impact with his villainous role but he can handle the fights well.

StoryLooking at the story, we get a prequel to the prequel that was involving a character from a sequel, yeah it is getting confusing already. This time Mathayus gets trained by the Black Scorpions and works under a king in what is a flat-out revenge adventure action fantasy film. we dive into a mix of mythologies now mixing Greek and Egyptian and a deadlier villain. It works as a one of film but as a sequel it is almost irrelevant.

Action/Adventure The action is plenty of combat scenes which all are fine without being anything special with the adventure being to the underworld and back which does make for a good fantasy side to everything.

SettingsThe settings all look fine but you don’t identify with enough of them for the ancient world.

Special EffectsThe weakest of all here are the special effects that are nearly all awful looking CGI.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fine starter for an action adventure on low budget but as a sequel/prequel it goes in the wrong direction for me.

 

Overall: Easy to watch action adventure.

Rating

 

 

Stretch (2014)

logoDirector: Joe Carnahan

Writer: Joe Carnahan (Screenplay) Joe Carnahan, Rob Rose, Jerry Corley (Story)

Starring: Patrick Wilson, Ed Helms, James Badge Dale, Brooklyn Decker, Jessica Alba, Ray Liotta, David Hasselhoff, Randy Couture, Chris Pine

Plot: A hard-luck limo driver struggles to go straight and pay off a debt to his bookie. He takes on a job with a crazed passenger, whose sought-after ledger implicates some seriously dangerous criminals.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Action Fun Times

Story: Stretch starts by following Stretch (Wilson) as he is on drugs and drink before meeting Candace (Decker) cleaning up before getting dumped falling back into his drugs and drink problem. He is struggling to find his place in Hollywood tired of being a limo driver with no money.

Stretch’s latest day goes from bad to worse as his boss wants him to improve his work level, the people who he owes money to want it all in one day and he loses his first client to a rival company. Stretch gets a chance to make a big pay day when he gets to take billionaire Roger Karos (Pine) who ends giving him on the wildest ride he has ever been on.

Stretch doesn’t have the most important story because it focuses on trying to create the most bizarre characters. The events all take place over one night which helps make the action feel non stop. It all plays into the what is the worst that can happen. I feel this doesn’t need to worry about the overall story and is one that is just easy to enjoy.

Actor Review

Patrick Wilson: Stretch is a down on his luck limo driver who has a roller coaster couple of years but this day everything could come crashing down when he needs to pay off his gambling debts when one of the wildest clients he has ever had that could just help pay off his debts. Patrick takes the lead role and shows that he can bounce off a range of characters through the night.stretch

Ed Helms: Karl is considered the best member of limo driving community who everyone turns to but when he has enough time of cleaning up people’s messes he kills himself. Stretch sees Karl who appears to him when as an advisor when needed. Ed offers up the comedy level but doesn’t have enough scenes when he is warning Stretch.

James Badge Dale: Laurent is a French man who is part of Karos’ plan but he isn’t everything he appears as we learn he is an undercover FBI agent trying to catch Karos. James does a give a good performance showing he can always be a good supporting character.

Chris Pine: Roger Karos is a billionaire with very eccentric style who could clear all the debts that Stretch has, but he is also putting Stretch for the wildest test to date. Chris steals the whole film and to think he does it by being uncredited and could easily be the star of the whole film.roger

Jessica Alba: Charlie is the dispatch girl who keeps trying to hook Stretch up with the right client to help him get the money he needs. She give him updates on how much trouble he ends up getting himself into. Jessica spends nearly the whole film on the phone to Stretch she doesn’t get enough real screen time.

Support Cast: Stretch has a great number of cameos which add to the laughs and all the different people coming after Stretch all work to help the entertainment level.

Director Review: Joe Carnahan Joe brings us a pure entertainment action flick that doesn’t offer too much for story but is filled with action throughout.

Action: Stretch has action with the chase scenes which all work well between the comedy.

Comedy: Stretch leaves most of the comedy to the cameos or the Chris Pine character.

Thriller: Stretch keeps us guessing to what will happen next because we have plenty of twists along the way.

Settings: Stretch uses Hollywood as the setting which all works for the idea behind the characters.
Special Effects: Stretch has good effects when needed but doesn’t rely on them t happen.

Suggestion: Stretch is one for the action comedy fans to enjoy the wild ride. (Action Comedy Fans Watch)

Best Part: Norman Reedus cameo.

Worst Part: I didn’t like the final scene.

Action Scene Of The Film: Stealing the limo back.

Funniest Scene: Chris Pine in general.

Favourite Quote: LaurentIf I were you, next time I’m sitting in a limo, I’m in the back seat.

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

Tagline: Shift happens

Overall: Fun action comedy that is non stop.

Ratingcard

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