Mr. Stallone Goes to Berlin: The Expendables at the Sony Center

sony center potsdamer platzOn a very successful promotional tour, director, writer and star Stallone stepped in for Jason Statham when the latter was asked to freestyle, without missing a beat he let out „Rap, rap, rap so fine, miss a word, and your little ass is mine,” to the beatboxing being performed by audience member or “jorunalist”. I myself was on the road for a couple weeks and while you try to make the most of your time, beating the pavement across Hell’s half acres looking at all the sights and going out at night can get tiring. Since we were in Berlin I figured we’d relax and take in a film at the Sony Center, at Potsdamer Platz – a sweet ass place to catch a flick. As luck would have it a movie of purportedly equal epicness was opening that week, The Expendables. It just so happens that Berlin is the same location where Stallone had been answering questions, busting rhymes, and passing wisdom about the movie making business, “It’s never about beauty. It’s about soul.” Indeed, Sly was spitting the truth everywhere he went, but it’s not like he needed to create buzz for this film, the list of cast members alone would have been enough to carry this film. Nevertheless the hype was palpable, and I couldn’t help but get excited to see this film. Nestled into reserved seats with a cold beer, the opening scene explored a modern problem – a hostage situation in the Gulf of Aden – and we were off to a good start. Even Lundgren’s “warning shot” which separated the ring leader’s upper body from lower mixed some laughter into the bullet maelstrom (Not a single hostage hit, really?). But from there on the story is really, well, old hat. I understand this film was meant to pay homage to action movies of previous decades, ones made without CGI and capes, but the story is run-of-the-mill, and may have otherwise gone straight to DVD. The dictator and his cocaine-financed banana republic, the bad white guy pulling the strings, the ex-teammate turned traitor. The notion is good but the delivery is at times almost cheesey which makes it more cliché than classic. Having said that, it’s not like I didn’t enjoy this film, good cameos, an unbelievable scene with Mickey Rourke, explosions and some of my favourite action stars make for good movie watching. Sly’s passion and wisdom when speaking about it made me want to like it more than I did, it just wasn’t as crazy or funny as it could have been. But, reviews don’t determine box offixe numbers, as is often the case (and almost always the case when it comes to films by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer), and in those terms the film was a major success. Hopefully it has given Sly the financial mobility to make a sequel that’s dynamite. He’s apparently already got Willis lined up to reprise and act as a villain, additionally he plans to do something more radical with the sequel – why didn’t we start there!

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  1. Jimbo

     /  September 13, 2010

    Actually Statham was asked to freestyle and Stallone jumped in for him. Weird questions from the audience but still very cool to watch.

  2. A. J.

     /  September 14, 2010

    Yeah thanks I changed it. Very weird request indeed :)


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