Sylvester Stallone knew exactly what he was doing when he produced, directed and along with Dave Callaham wrote the movie The Expendables, which stars along with Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Mickey Rourke, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, David Zayas, Giselle Itié, Gary Daniels, Terry Crews, and surprise actors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis, plus many more good actors.
In spite of the economy and a long list of lousy movies coming out of Hollywood, the Expendables took the No. 1 spot at the box office in US with $5 million, and has continued to hold through the weekend to become the number one movie for a second week in a row. The film closed out the weekend with $16.5 million to bring it to a total of $64.9 million in just two weeks. The film cost $80 million to make, but has yet to be released in many international venues.
There are reasons why this movie is a success: It caters to the target audience by specifically providing what they like to watch and yet reaches far beyond that group to folks of all ages and political persuasions simply because it delivers.
For those who love action, guns, the good guys vs the bad guys, the good guys winning, motorcycles, cars, no political correctness, kick-a$$ movie, with great music/soundtrack including "Keep Your Hands to Yourself", "Keep On Chooglin'" written by John Fogerty, "Mississippi Queen", "Born on the Bayou", and "The Boys Are Back in Town", this movie is for you. Who likes that stuff? I do. The Expendables delivers.
The movie is also surprisingly funny with some one-liners you will find yourself quoting after the movie is over, like this one:
Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger ): Give this job to my friend here. He loves playing in the jungle, right?
Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone): [sarcastically] Right.
Mr. Church (Bruce Willis): [referring to Trench, confused] What's his fucking problem?
Barney Ross (sylvester Stallone): He wants to be president.
The good guys are not 18 year old
pretty boys out of some clothing magazine with styled hair and washboard
abs, they are real men with some age and experience under their belts.
You actually believe that they could get the mission accomplished, and they do. The audience, women included, want to see real men.
When it comes to people of a certain age, Hollywood has a certain reputation. Older screenwriters say they can't get jobs, leading parts for actresses start vanishing once they turn 35 and the studios have all but abandoned adult dramas. Which makes the continued success of "The Expendables" all the more remarkable.
... 52-year-old Dolph Lundgren, the 54-year-old Eric Roberts and the 57-year-old Mickey Rourke) continued to draw a surprising number of female ticket buyers - some 38 percent of the audience, distributor Lionsgate says. (more)
Sylvester Stallone said he would not have been able to make The Expendables two decades ago because some of the action men who appear in the
film like Dolph Lundgren, Arnold Schwarzenegger
and Bruce Willis, would have been too expensive -- "This was all favors, all done on a really low budget. Some even wanted to work for nothing, meaning me."
While The Expendables opens with the team fighting off a band of Somali pirates who are holding a ship's crew for ransom (and are just about to execute some of the hostages), the movie is about a group of elite mercenaries, tasked with a mission to overthrow a Latin American dictator. The army is actually played by the real Brazilian military soldiers who volunteered to be in the movie, making it even more realistic.
Movie-goers like me want to see some good guys cut through the crap, rescue the good guys and send the bad guys to their graves. This movie delivers.
For gun enthusiasts, you will love this list of weapons, a weapon-by-weapon guide to The Expendables arsenal, including handguns and revolvers, rifles and shotguns, the many sharpened blades. For an even better description and better images of the arsenal, see this site, hat tip R.J. Godlewski. Of special interest is Caesar(Terry Crews) AA-12 automatic shotgun, "MPS AA-12 Sledgehammer".
What makes it a force to be reckoned with in "The Expendables" however is the ammo which Caesar fills it with, which he describes in great detail during one particular scene.
Said Johnson: "It has fins and it explodes before it hits the target. ... It's like a little missile, a little ground-to-air missile. You could load a shotgun shell with a solid pellet, you could load it with birdshot, you could load it with buckshot, you could load it with all different things. The way we did it [in 'The Expendables'] was, basically, [we built it] to take down buildings, and it does. In real life, this shotgun would do pretty close to what you see on the screen."
Even more frightening is the idea that such a destructive bit of firepower exists. It does, Johnson said — sort of. "There's something like that that does exist, yeah. We basically made up our own shell, but we copied one that was a prototype that is in development for the military."
Below is some video of the AA-12 in action, but here is a photo with a little commentary:
It's not a very beautiful gun, but it does look very utilitarian. It's the AA-12, a shotgun capable of fully-automatic fire. And it looks a lot better with a drum mag. In fact, that's how it's mostly shown in the movies. So why is this suddenly becoming the bad-ass weapon of choice. Well, it's a step up from the Desert Eagle, being a rifle-sized weapon, so it looks more intimidating. And it gets the fully automatic shotgun down into a somewhat more manageable size than the Jackhammer (which got famous in the Max Payne computer games). And then there's the ammo - the AA-12 can fire the neato little rounds called Frag-12, which are more like mini-grenades than conventional bullets, coming in a variety of flavours. And while they do come in high Explosive, the effect in The Expendables is somewhat overdone. Of course, other shotguns can fire the Frag-12, but the AA-12 came out at the same time as the Frag-12, so it's a match made in heaven.
Like all movies it has a goof or two, like where Sylvester Stallone inflicts significant damage to his truck while getting away from his enemies, yet a few scenes later he pulls into the hanger and his truck is not damaged at all, (See more), but who cares since this is such a great movie.
Here's the trailer, enjoy:
Another reason to like this movie is that the majority of the case is Republican, Conservative, including Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, .... Gotta love these guys.
Now, go see this movie. Sweet hubby took me out to dinner and the movies last night and we both enjoyed The Expendables.