It was a dark and stormy night.
That’s right people, I just started a blog with the oldest literary cliché in the book.
Many years ago, a group of writers got together and collaborated on the writing of a book with the express intent of exploiting every single cliché which has ever been put to paper.
Forty years later, savants in Hollywood followed the lead of the Italian Stallion and chose to produce a sequel to The Expendables. It was in that particular movie, ladies and gentlemen, a reprise collaborative effort took place which consolidated every movie cliché not exploited in the first version of this Stallone classic and jammed it with a good sturdy plunger into The Expendables II.
Metaphorical tangent in 3…2….1
Have you ever had those Reese’s Miniature Peanut Butter Cups which are individually wrapped? They’re the best out of the freezer. I swear those things are like crack and bath salts for me.
Don’t doubt me on this one.
Whenever I eat those things, I like to wad up the foil and paper into a ball. Each subsequent one I eat, inhale, snort, or mainline gets it’s paper and foil added to the existent ball. There comes a point when I know I’ve had to many of them when the new pieces of foil won’t wrap around the entire ball.
It’s just a big, foil and paper ball without a lot of substance. It was good at one time, but now not so much.
Now where was I?
The Expendables II opens up with our heroes of action movies past storming some town out in the middle of a dessert reminiscent of something you would see driving Vegas. They use their souped up and heavily armored vehicles to break into the bad guy’s joint, rescue a Chinese billionaire, and Arnie SchwarzensomethingIcan’tspell. Arnie demands a big gun from one of the guys and makes some dumb ass “terminated” joke. He said his own team of mercenaries was outside, but we never saw them.
Well kids, your eyes are barely done rolling when our heroes climb a tower on one of the buildings, jump on some zip lines and zip off to their great escape.
Right into a heavily forested jungle, that is.
Normally, such an outburst in a theater would have turned some heads of other patrons and gotten a shush or two, but there were only 12 other people in the theater that night. At $9.50 a pop to show that movie to the public last night, I’m sure the profit barely grossed enough to inspire Sylvester Stallone to write another installment of the series. Fortunately the man has never really appreciated doing sequels, so I think we’re safe.
As much as I would like to list off all of the “been there, done that” events which sucked just short of 2 hours out of the rest of my life last night, I just can’t. I guess I have just too much respect for the classics.
There are a few other points I would like to touch on if you’ll indulge me though.
First of all, there was Chuck Norris. Did you know that Chuck Norris is capable of site to site transport without the benefit of a transporter device? Better yet, did you know that Chuck Norris is capable of telling a Chuck Norris joke in the middle of a movie?
Here’s a quick pop quiz.
What’s Chuck Norris famous for?
Kicking ass with his bare hands and the occasional roundhouse kick.
Wouldn’t it only make sense that a movie featuring a lot of physical violence in addition to knife and gun play would showcase the Lone Wolf as doing exactly just that?
All he did was shoot his guns and do some makeshift leg press exercises on that exercise gym of his.
But then there was some of the hand to hand combat that took place sans Norris.
At one point near the end when everyone was kung-fu fighting, Jason Statham was getting it on with his counterpart in the bad guy gang. They were fighting near a helicopter and guess what?
You guessed it. The blade and tail rotors were spinning.
I’d tell you how Statham won his battle, but I don’t want to spoil the flick for you. *cough*Indiana Jones*cough*
Jean Claude Van Dam was the main bad guy. I never liked him then, and I was reminded why I still don’t really care for his particular craft.
At one point, we find Stallone and Van Dam in some sort of room with what appears to be an elevated platform and plenty of heavy chains hanging from the ceiling. “Oh boy,” I thought, “Dirt Claude is going to hang!” I hadn’t seen that happen since the last time I saw The Avengers featuring the lovely and talented Scarlett Johansson in skin tight attire and loaded for bear (or bare) taking out some Russian mafia thugs with similar chains.
But wait, it gets better.
During their gun fight, Van Dam announces he’s out of ammo. He comes out of hiding, throws down his gun and challenges Rocky to either shoot him or kill him like a man.
“Shoot him!” I yelled.
“Oh come on people! He killed the little brother of the guy who plays Thor by kicking a dagger into his chest! Never mind the fact that the victim had just given Stallone notice that he was leaving the team! You knew he would die, I knew he would die! Hell, he knew he would die!”
Obviously my moment of audible lucidity resonated with the other 12 people in the theater, because they all took my side and started yelling when Rambo chose to cast common sense aside in favor of a cinematic device involving chains hanging from the ceiling of a warehouse.
And then it was over.
Not a moment too soon either.
Aside from the cinematic and intestinal integrity this film tested, additional costs were incurred by my spending part of my 19th wedding anniversary in the theater with Wifey, CHUCK, Sly, Bruce, Arnie, Dolph, Jason, Jet, Jean, and 12 potential minions easily swayed by merely calling out the obvious. That particular cost became immediately known to me when the final credits began to roll and Wifey turned her head and looked me squarely in the face.
“You owe me three chick flicks for that.”
Holding true to the spirit of the cliché, I stood up, held my arms out, and shouted to the sky (ceiling) “Stallooooooooooooone!”