Nate watches – the Expendables

I have a lot of gal friends who ask me to explain men to them.  Now I have 2 stock answers:

  1. Read Wild at Heart – even if you’re not a Christian, I can assure you the conclusions are accurate even if you disagree with the proofs.
  2. Watch Expendables.

Why?  Well what are the 3 core desires of every man as pointed out in the book listed?

  1. A Battle to Fight – And how.  This movie is packed full of action scenes, pushing the limit they can have without the audience becoming numb from overdose (see Van Helsing for an example where this happened).  The action is pretty well choreographed as well, avoiding one of my most frequent complaints about how you can never tell who’s who in a fight.  Nope, they are pretty easy to follow.
  2. An Adventure to Live – One might also call this a “cause to fight for”.  Such is actually the motivation of the plot in this movie – mercenaries learning that sometimes you fight because it’s the right thing to do, not because you’re getting paid (Mickey Rouke has a touching monologue where he pretty much says this exact thing, without beating you over the head with it).
  3. A Beauty to Rescue – Yeah, there is a hot girl to save, but there isn’t much romance in this (in fact the only romance in the movie is so superfluous that it could be cut without detriment to the film).  Sometimes just saving the girl is enough.

This now ranks even with Predator for most perfect guy movie ever.  Some have complained that this movie isn’t 80’s enough but I think they’ve missed the forest because a few trees are in their way.  John C. Wright  coined the term ‘diagetic’ to describe what it within the story world and what is not.  A song on the radio is diagetic.  The soundtrack is non-diagetic.  When one examines the most ’80ish’ of 80’s movies, you’ll notice that the camp and over-the-top-ness and so forth is all non-diagetic.  Diageticly speaking, the story and characters are all generally serious (though the villains might have fun now and then – Eric Roberts certainly does).  The same holds true for this movie.

There are a few meta jokes if you look for them.  The movie is 110% straightforward (seriously, there are no surprises and twists to it – even when the plot would actually benefit from one or two).  Every main actor gets the chance to shine in at least one action scene (main characters get a few bonus).  There’s black and white but also some shades of gray in it as well.  The scene between Sly, Arnold and Bruce is so awesome the universe nearly imploded.  All in all… it gives the viewer exactly what they expected.

If your a woman, you’ll need to subtract 1-2 shells there – unless you enjoy this sort of thing. Now here’s hoping Liam Neeson and Chuck Norris get to join in the sequel…

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