This was this year's best movie for non-thinkers with a story fueled entirely by guns, knives, mixed martial arts and heavy foreign accents. The movie's plot you could very well write on a square piece of tissue paper with a drop of your own blood, but nobody cared. No one came to the movie house to think. They came to see all those big names together. I did too.
Sly Stallone figured that out of course, long before he drafted the story on his shred of tissue. Really though, he should have just called the movie The Reunion or The Predictable or even The Arthritis Club. None of the big names were truly expendable (except for Jet Li whose character, to my dismay was thrown out of a plane ten minutes through the movie) and you knew even before the first scene what to expect from the story and the actors.
|Starring Barney, er... I meant Stallone.|
Not even his action moves could save him. Stallone's character is incidentally named Barney and when he does a barrel roll, what comes to mind is not macho Rambo but his purple/fuchsia/magenta dinosaur namesake rolling while suffering from arthritis.
He was surpassed only by Dolph Lundgren as a purveyor of the “stoned” expression, but Lundgren I can excuse if only because a man who looks prehistoric but has a degree in chemical engineering deserves respect.
Liam Hemsworth was the dead good guy. As soon as he started telling his sob story and his dreams of a better life, you knew there was already an advance party sent to the hills to dig him a nice grave.
What's-her-name-with-the-irritating-tendency-to-tilt-her-head-to-the-direction-of-her-sideways-split-hair was the obvious token love interest. What you probably didn't anticipate was the distance you'd be able to hurl your lunch with that suggestion. I can accept Sly's aspirations of becoming a geriatric action star but he is no Hugh Hefner.
Chuck Norris was perhaps the only oddity on set. Could he have been placed there merely to showcase his antiquated facial hair? I can't explain why but he made me think of wild ducks. That's probably because his thick, perfectly combed beard probably looks more fitting on animals in the wild that need it to survive.
|Poor duck. Oh why when I see Norris I think of thee? (Mallard Duck by FinlayCox143)|
The one thing I wanted that wasn't there were Van Damme's trademark split legs. Then again, at his age, such a stunt could only land him in the infirmary.
We got exactly what we knew we'd get and I bet we'd go for a third ride if there was one but Schwarzenegger's reference to retirement at the end of the movie is appropriate advice. The grandfathers of action deserve to enjoy the remaining years of their lives without broken bones.