(US - 2013)
Directed by Mikael Hafstrom. Written by Miles Chapman and Arnell Jesko. Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Vincent D'Onofrio, Amy Ryan, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Sam Neill, Vinnie Jones, Faran Tahir, Graham Beckel, Matt Gerald, Caitriona Balfe. (R, 115 mins)
Though THE EXPENDABLES and its sequel proved to be surprise hits, they failed to kickstart a geriatric action movement for aging warhorses like 67-year-old Sylvester Stallone and 66-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger. Their early 2013 solo releases--BULLET TO THE HEAD and THE LAST STAND, respectively--tanked at the box office as audiences stayed far away despite generally positive reviews for both. The sad fact is that teenagers make up most of the theatrical audience, and kids today aren't really interested in what '80s action icons are doing. Hell, they won't even go see Jason Statham movies at this point, and he's only 46. Much like aging rock bands going out on four-band package tours, these dinosaur action fossils only seem to generate some box office when they're all together, hence, next summer's EXPENDABLES 3. For fans of these guys in their prime, these things are a blast. I can't think of a more giddy moment in a 2012 movie than Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Bruce Willis standing side-by-side with guns blazing in THE EXPENDABLES 2. If you can't get behind that, then we don't have anything more to discuss.
STOP! OR MY MOM WILL SHOOT. Stallone glowers and grumbles his way through the film, surprisingly letting Schwarzenegger be the showy comic relief and the Governator runs with it, whether he's starting fights and insulting other inmates, getting thrown in lockdown and ranting in German, or telling Breslin "You hit like a vegetarian." Schwarzenegger even gets the film's best moment, grabbing a machine gun (Hafstrom gives him a close up of his eyes squinting) and turning around in slo-mo as he starts blasting Hobbes' goonish guards.
CHAINED and PAWN SHOP CHRONICLES make his work as noseless meth kingpin Pooh Bear in THE SALTON SEA look restrained and low-key by comparison. When did he throw it all away to become the Nicolas Cage of supporting actors?