I hit 300 posts with my last post; I was going to mark the occasion, got too distracted, so here I am marking it late. 9/10. Marked.
So we finally had a day off, and went to go see the Expendables, which Vic wanted to see because it's guns and fists and explosions of awesome, and I wanted to go see it because it's Jason Statham and last time we saw him he was half-naked sliding around in oil so...
Unfortunately I didn't realize a) it was directed by Sylvester Stallone b) it is starring Sylvester Stallone and c) Sylvester Stallone wouldn't understand a joke if it was aimed at him. Not to say the movie was bad. There were explosions. There was a cool plane. There was Dexter's Detective Batista trying to be serious, tough, and dictatory. There was an attractive lady who had a personality trait. Guns, bikes, tattoos and height jokes.
Unfortunately they were stuck between the need for a simple script in order to hang so many diverse yet fascinating actors off, and someone's apparent desire to just hang them off his massive, aged, biceps. A movie with this many big names really needs to space them so we don't all suffer star shock, but they were almost so spaced it was unwieldy, never really gaining speed. Perhaps if it had been paired down a touch, and hung on something like a "mission: impossible" framework? Then again, ocean's eleven has already been done.
The downside is that you never develop enough empathy that you care about the good guys winning; not always a problem, but typically the visual effects are incredible enough you don't care that the characters are about as interesting as a hairball. In this case, however, you have two big holes (How many stunts can you really have when the main character is this old, but no one is allowed to top him?) and no distracting lump of glittery awesome. (That's a really uncomfortable statement)
So in closing, it's sort of sad I'm even trying to assess this so much, because it's really like critiquing the food at McDonald's, you aren't there for home-made or haut cuisine, you're there because it's pretty cheap, and you used to love it as a kid, but I'm trying anyway, because, gosh-darnit, we need to start demanding more from our movies. The last "epic saga" we had was based on some blue guys that didn't want to give up their tree. Yes, yes, it was pretty, but so was "gone with the wind" and it still said something.