Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Sylvester Stallone creaks back to the screen with a facelift that's halfway between a department store mannikin and David Guest.  Stallone plays Barney Ross (really? taking the name of an old boxing champion?), the leader of a six-man group of mercenaries called The Expendables.  The opening scenes have the mercenaries turning Somali pirates into body parts, while one member (Gunner, played by Dolph Lundgren) is about to hang one of the pirates.  While blowing people up seems kosher, hanging them does not; Gunner, high on drugs, can't appreciate the concept.  So there's a fight, and Gunner gets kicked off the squad.  And then there were five.

Back home, Barney is approach by sleazy I'm-CIA-but-I'm not-going-to-admit-it Bruce Willis, who wants the squad to take out a Latin dictator in the island country of Vilena.  Vilena is a major producer of  Vilenaschnitzel    cocaine and Eric Roberts and Eric Robert's facelift play an evil rogue CIA agent controls both the dictator and the cocaine traffic.  Bruce Willis wants the cocaine traffic back at the CIA, where it belongs.

Their contract on the island is Sandra, the dictator's daughter who wants him dead because he's done bad things to his people.   Band, band, bang.  Betrayal, betrayal, betrayal.  Explosion, explosion, explosion.  Wisecracks, witticisms, and deadpan acting.  Torture, torture, torture.   No sex to speak of.  Body parts, body parts, body parts.  The five-man squad takes on an army.  The end.

Not quite.  We need to have Barney leave the girl in fine Casablanca style.  And we need to welcome back a clean Gunner to the squad.  Let's not forget a final bit of humor among this noble band of killers.

This is not a great film, but for a mysogenic, morally bankrupt flick, it's a pretty good one.  Stallone has gathered a large set of a he-man actors (including Jason Stathham, Jet Li, Steve Austin, Mickey Rourke, Randy Couture,  and the Gubernator) and uses them to their best advantage.  Add eye candy from Gisele Itie and Charisma Carpenter and you have a mindless, enjoyable way to spend a few hours.

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