Wrong Side of Town: an ex-marine has to get across town to save his kidnapped daughter – but he has a bounty on his huge head to gets his tiny-headed friend to help out. The opening scene and cool Bond-esque credits & song pricked my ears up straight away; unfortunately you soon realise that this can’t even be called legitimate acting – it’s a sad state of affairs when professional wrestler Batista pulls out the best performance in your film. On all other levels this really is “sub-movie” – story, script, direction, casting… you name it. A poor man’s JCVD – RVD – limps through the film, a fitting metaphor such a tragic film. If wrestlers running around looking badass with generic WWE metal intro music is your thing, then maybe this is worth a gamble. However, I usually take that stuff with a pinch of salt, but the only way I can sum this up honestly is by saying “Holy shit WWE! Must. Try. Harder.”
The Expendables: A band of gruff mercenaries feel up to the task of overthrowing a corrupt Latin-American dictator. First thing’s first: this film has the action cast to end all casts – while it’s not 100% perfect, you just don’t see this many huge names in a film these days. It’s hard to describe but seeing star after star after star is spectacle in itself. Then there’s the action, which is awesome – and although CGI heavy, it’s great fun watching henchmen get mauled by fists, blades, bullets, fire and grenades; watching anything and everything get blown up; watching all the standout musclemen fight each other; and watching set piece after set piece. Little else is particularly noteworthy, but little else matters in a film like this; the script’s terrible laughable, the plot is contrived beyond belief, the acting’s utterly forgettable (everyone’s on auto-pilot) and even the ‘hot chick’ was a bit of a dog. Essentially a B-movie with an A-star cast and massive budget, this isn’t a homage to 1980s blockbuster action films, this is a 1980s blockbuster action film. It’s also an action film for action fans, and it does the big scenes way better than anything else I’ve seen recently. I laughed, I cringed, and I shouted ‘Holy Shit’ (usually while clutching a limb that’d just been snapped on screen) about 20 times. What can I say? I’m a sucker for big names, big guns, big explosions and big set pieces. Roll on the Expendables 2!