Saturday, August 18, 2012
Saw Expendables, and I have to modify, if not my initial preview blurb, at least the subtext thereof. I still feel Exp 2 should've been titled "[i]Expendables 2: job placement program for jocks displaced by the rise of the geeks Courtesy of the Stallone Foundation for Prostatic Elephantiasis.[/i]"
But that's a good thing, and here's why.
I'm not going to go much into the nitty-gritty of the plot characters etc. so go find some stock AI-generated Ebert spiel if you want that -- but really it's not all that necessary. This series is an exception to the face-value rule. We all know what this movie is and is about even before viewing one preview narrated only by varying calibers of giant guns and jumpcut portraits of time-raisined Real Men(tm) from the American Cinema Jurrasic, AKA the 80's. It's a vivid museum of dying, thunderous lizards of yore, with thunderous biceps, thunderous 50 cals, and thunderous V800 engines, rampaging with an honorably dignity one last time before the Geekocene, the Age of the Computer Nerds puts these ur-jocks out of their misery. As Van Damme's one-liner in a film made of one-liner goes, "Do you want to die like a sheep, or like a man?" These guys choose to die like men.
And hey, some parts are actually funny, even the obligatory self-referential inside jokes. These guys are all bigger than their roles, and not just in terms of muscle mass: they're all really playing their own celebrity-tulpas here. And maybe that's what makes the chemistry click beyond the bombastic action; they all genuinely [i]get[/i] one another, because they *are* all has-been jockish action heroes. I'd take this thewy motley crew of lugnuts and their wisecracks over Total Recall's computer-generated non-acting anytime. The group is big and dumb, sure, but they're at least convincing as a kind of found-family unit with their banter and locker room jokes, some of which are actually kind of clever. There's some character there, and not just holographic facades implanted to serve as vehicles for showing off the art department and sci-fi worldbuilding as in Recall.
But I think, prehaps, Stallone and crew are trailblazing some new genre here in need of a neologism and a PhD Urban Anthro dissertation outlining the Curdled Testosterone Manifesto.
Geriaction heroes. 80's Muscle-Gothic.
You gotta give Stallone this: with his on-scene, old-style giganto-explosion action movies with real stunts, locales etc. Stalone's created more net jobs than Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Warren Buffet, and Steve Jobs put together, even before you deduct all the insider trading, job-killing cartel coddling, outsourcing and sweatshop mongering they've wrought upon the US and world. [i]The Expendables[/i] is Rogue Hollywood Old Money's solution to the social security crunch and accelerating unemployment.
So here's my proposal: Schwarzenegger/Stallone for the Gib-ertarian party 2012. Guarantee you more people will see the Expendables 2 than the Kangaroo Court charade that will be this year's Presidential Debate when we learn, with bated breath, the optimum candidate marketing pitch as determined by 50 billion in focus-group research funded by money fenced through HSBC et. al. from suicidal Greeks, waterless Mumbai farmers, and homeless Floridians. And Expendables 2 is more informative and blam-tastic than sitting through 90 minutes of flash-frozen lies.
For all the over-the-top steroidal surreality, at least Stallone is using *real* people and real physical objects, even if they're derelict Soviet nuclear "Tzar Bomba" droppers and decaying Albanian countryside competing with Detroit for the bleak-tourism market. Stallone only farms out to the Taiwan datacenters when he needs to airbrush the wrinkles off of his old testicle-face and make Arnold's pecs look bigger than 8 years of princess-waving has atrophied them. Then contrast that with Mitt "Bane of the Underclass" Romney who hasn't produced a real dollar of capital in his life, who's entire existence and subsistence consists of virtualization, rehypothecation of fraudulent collateral for his profit and rehypothecation of 20th century Randian mythology that was never true [i]then[/i] to his idiot/sociopathic supporters. Romney, whose New Jersey stationed yota-hertz dark pool supercomps are used only for high-frequency law breaking through quote stuffing Knight Capitals and Joe Retirements out of their vault every time they want to buy a few shares of Apple. I mean where does Paul Ryan find time to spout perjury in townhalls when he's not busy committing necrophilia on Ayn Rand's decrepit mindstrosities or attending closed-door Havana Room conferences with Treasury Secretary/Goldman Sachs CEOs so he can plunder the people he claims to represent by illegally front running his constituent's 401ks and hedge funds with his algo bots. Plus, Stallone's geeky bisexual wanna-be DJ nephews running the CGI production house for uncle Sly probably got paid better than Romney's Lebanese quants suffering autonomic neuropathy due to receiving 10,000 times CDC's max yearly exposure to 50GHZ EM radiation in Romney's faster-than-light looting factory. Not that Barack "I suck Illuminati Cock for campaign money and refuse to prosecute criminals" Obama is much lesser of an evil than the repub ticket.
Perhaps, paradoxically, in our time of ubiquitous Jobs-worshipping, iPad toting, limp-wristed, jelly-spined, pussy nerds/idealogues/weasely kleptocrats, it's actually the big dumb strong-jawed bastards that are cool again. Maybe what we need is Stallone, Schwarzennegar, Statham, Li, Lundgren, Willis, Norris, and Van Damme to go Operation Washington/Wall Street with the gattling rocket launchers and brass knuckles and blow the living crap out of those Valentino-suit-wearing traitorous fucks like a bunker full of Viet Cong. In the puppet rendition of The Expendables, AKA [i]Team America: World Police[/i], Gary Johnston as played by Trey Parker put it most eloquently: "Pussies may think they can deal with assholes their way. But the only thing that can fuck an asshole is a dick, with some balls."
I just handed you your campaign slogan, Stallone. Balls in your court, dick.