I saw The Expendables opening night, and no one was going to stop me, short of Sly showing up at my house and snapping my neck Rambo-style from behind. It looks like John Nolte was operating on the same wavelength:
Satisfying is probably the best way to describe this labor of love conjured up by a superstar who sat in the direct-to-DVD bin for almost a decade waiting for America to come to its collective senses and figure out how much we missed him and his kind of action filmmaking. There’s also a kind of validation that comes with the price of admission, especially for those of us who couldn’t figure out why in the hell anyone would call metro-sexuals angsting over calling evil what it is and apologizing for America an action movie.
“The Expendables” proves us right.
Matt Damon sucks and the eighties freaking ruled.
The Expendables is a solid action movie with some great kill scenes, but the reason why it’s a breath of fresh air is because somewhere along the line Hollywood decided that heroes couldn’t be heroes unless they were self flagellating poster boys for the Blame America First crowd. I grew up in the 80’s, on a steady diet of Stallone’s movies. Liberals might dismiss his films as cat nip for meat heads, but it’s hard to deny that some very valuable life lessons have been weaved into his characters throughout the years. How many kids in the 80’s didn’t get chills down their spines when Rocky finally “cut” Drago?
“You got him hurt bad, now he’s worried. You cut him, you hurt him. You see?! You see?! He’s not a machine! He’s a man!…No Pain!…No Pain!” (Duke)
If you had to bet, would you think that Rocky IV is on Harry Reid’s Top 10 movie list? The same guy who literally surrendered to Iraqi terrorists and Baathists? I don’t think so.
The kind of grit, determination, and mettle that’s needed for a country to succeed (whether during economic downturns or times of war) is embodied in most of Stallone’s characters. America, although not perfect, is a good country, and confidently identifies evil. The human spirit is capable of overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles if we look deep within ourselves to find those hidden reserves of strength and courage our opponents and enemies fail to account for. Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage are not just moral codes for our military (or those who clearly love our soldiers), but for all men to live by in Stallone’s world. Men love Sly because he taps into something they all know to be true, even if MTV and Oprah and a bevy of beta-male pseudo-stars have told a generation otherwise.
Instead of making train wrecks like An American Carol, conservatives should get behind movies like The Expendables. You don’t change the culture by making blatantly political cinematic pot shots—you change the culture by making conservatism cool. And The Expendables is. Period.
Go see it before the weekend is up.