The Expendables AKA Terry Crews’ Shotgun

The Expendables is a film title that I will never associate with Sylvester Stallone’s production. “Terry Crews’ Shotgun” is a far more appropriate title because that is the important subject matter throughout these 103 minutes of carnage. In fact, it is the true star of the movie. If you thought that this one was a must-see simply because of its smorgasbord of action stars then wait until you get a load of the most epic piece of weaponry that has been in any action movie. Other than that thing, is Sly’s 80s throwback worth your time and money?

Well that all depends on what you’re expecting out of “Terry Crews’ Shotgun”.

If you want to see really veiny muscle head action stars (or wanna-be action stars) pull triggers as faceless henchmen soak in their bullets, and a ridiculous body count then this movie is a downright dream.  If you’re looking for a deep, thought-provoking tea party that will lull you to sleep and whisk you off to dreamland, you’re absolutely screwed.  When I went into the theater I held close the expectancy that if each member of the team did not kill at least ten people a piece within the span of the movie, I’d have been let down.  Sure enough, they managed to ease my concerns within the first five minutes.  While you’d have to be an idiot to see a film like this yearning for a tightly constructed plot and sound acting talent, that isn’t at all to say that it isn’t worth seeing.  Because, come on.  Terry Crews’ shotgun is pretty dope in this movie, you have to be sure.

I’m not about to lie to you and pretend that I remember what the goal was that the team was trying to accomplish in the movie other than “give the fans bullet-riddled orgasms” but I will say this: it truly does not matter.

YAY :

  • First off, you cannot ignore the fact that this movie has a lineup of awesome-repute.  Stallone did one damn fine job of getting everyone together.  Statham, Li, Rourke, Willis, Schwarzenegger, Roberts, Lundgren, Crews, Austin… the list goes on and… well no, actually it kind of stops right about there in terms of people I give a damn about seeing.  All that needed to be done was to make them go out and kill some people.  So what was the first mission?  Pirates.  YES.
  • Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Willis have one scene together in the movie, which you’ve no doubt seen in the trailers.  It’s, to be quite blunt, an indulgent wank-fest for the actors, the fans, and everyone involved in the making of this movie.  But the thing is, that’s exactly what this movie needed.  In fact, this was the scene that sold the majority of people on this movie because holy shit, Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis are ALL IN A ROOM TOGETHER.  Rambo, the Terminator, and John McClane are all standing in a room together at the same time.  It’s like a cross between Stop or My Mom Will Shoot, Kindergarten Cop and Death Becomes Her.  Wait, are those the references I should be using?
  • Been feeling like you haven’t been seen enough of Jason Statham being epic lately?  Well do yourself a favor and have a seat in a theater near you to watch Statham prove that regardless of the movie, he will kill you.  He will kill you and everything you’ve ever loved, because he is Jason Statham.
  • Come on, did you think I wouldn’t mention Terry Crews’ Shotgun?  It’s the title of the movie for God’s sake!  The only way it could have been a better seen is if, as Terry Crews was blowing people away, he shouted “P-P-P-P-P-P-POWER” at the top of his lungs, and if the gun actually fired Old Spice through each of his enemies.  Never before have I seen so many people get shot to death in a hallway.  I kid you not.

NAY :

  • I’m sorry, but we have got to be real with this: Randy Couture is not an actor.  He isn’t now, he never has been, and he never will be.  I was practically ripping and tearing at my ears whenever he was given dialogue.  I know he was one of the good guys, but for God’s sake, I was praying for him to just be annihilated as soon as the option was available within the story.  Come on Randy, just wander in front of those guns, come on… damn!  Missed him.
  • There are some scenes in this film with expanded dialogue that make you want to shout “Go back to killing people!”  They sit around and talk about how they’re old as hell, which was basically their thinly-veiled method of saying that their careers as action stars really just beat the bag out of each and every one of them.  Which is probably why Sly looked like his face could have fallen off at any minute.  Rourke was given a huge monologue in this movie for no real reason other than to point out that they’re really, for the most part, a group of old guys who should really just take it easy on the action movies and maybe take it easy on their bones.  Sly broke his neck doing this movie.  He’s not the young man he never was.  None of them are.  But I didn’t need an ass-load of dialogue to tell me that.
  • I’ll say it was funny, but it was incredibly messed up, and I don’t even really want to tell you what it was because I think as long as you have the context of it you need to actually see the moment in the movie: okay, so Stone Cold Steve Austin was once arrested for beating his wife, right?  Okay, you with me so far?  Okay.  There comes a scene in this movie where that knowledge is very important to have, and it’s a scene with Austin being talked about by Roberts, who is speaking to a woman.  I have no idea if this is even really a nay, but I gotta tell you, it took me right out of the movie because I couldn’t believe Steve Austin actually signed on to do a role wherein this scene took place and these things were said.
  • Taking the direct approach I’ll say this: don’t bother trying to include a story in a movie like this.  You know damn well that’s not why anyone is going to see this movie.  We didn’t care about Mexican whatever and the daughter of whoever and how someone was being betrayed by someone to do something.  All we really cared about was getting a brief setup early on and then bullets flying through the air.  Knives.  Rockets.  Bombs.  Jesus Christ, the number of explosives in this movie should have been enough to blow away any possibility of a plot.  I know that you need some semblance of a story to do a movie, but that isn’t what we wanted, and too often the attempts to make a story got in the way of the fans’ blood lust.

So in the end, is “Terry Crews’ Shotgun” really worth your time and money?  I can’t really be all that sure.  Again, it’s up to you.  It both does what it needs to do and it kind of shirks its responsibility at the same time.  People die, hell yes people die, but all told I don’t feel like enough people die.  That might be morbid, but I don’t go in there hoping the characters are going to talk out their problems.  I expect justice to be done.  So really, the best we can hope for is a sequel, to truly fuel our half-satisfied tanks of death and mayhem.

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