Tag Archives: Mickey Rourke

The Expendables (2010) Review

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The Expendables

Time: 103 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Contains Graphic Violence
Cast:
Sylvester Stallone as Barney Ross
Jason Statham as Lee Christmas
Jet Li as Yin Yang
Dolph Lundgren as Gunner Jensen
Eric Roberts as James Munroe
Randy Couture as Toll Road
Steve Austin as Paine
David Zayas as General Garza
Giselle Itié as Sandra
Charisma Carpenter as Lacy
Gary Daniels as The Brit
Terry Crews as Hale Caesar
Mickey Rourke as Tool
Director: Sylvester Stallone

Barney Ross leads a band of highly skilled mercenaries including knife enthusiast Lee Christmas, a martial arts expert, heavy weapons specialist, demolitionist, and a loose-cannon sniper. When the group is commissioned by the mysterious Mr. Church to assassinate the dictator of a small South American island, Barney and Lee visit the remote locale to scout out their opposition and discover the true nature of the conflict engulfing the city.

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While I certainly like the central idea of those films, The Expendables aren’t the best action movies out there. The second movie is actually very enjoyable, but the third was very underwhelming. That being said I don’t remember much about the first Expendables. I watched it nearly a decade ago and I remember the actors involved but that’s it. So I decided to give it another look and can confirm that its not a very good movie, even looking at what it sets out to do. But I still had some fun with it.

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First and foremost, The Expendables is a homage to the blockbusters of the 80s and 90s, paying tribute to the action stars of the past and present. I can certainly say that you feel the passion for that. There are plenty of one liners and testosterone filled dialogue that feels like a parody, over the top plot and action, it has got it all. It also has a lot of the familiar tropes, usually for the worse. The plot is pretty thin, and the story isn’t all that interesting. It feels like it is going through the motions, almost in a lazy way. On one hand you could just say that the plot doesn’t matter, but its not exactly plotless either. So really the problem is that the movie doesn’t really know what to do with its story. On one hand it is a very run of the mill action plot about a group of mercenaries being assigned to assassinate a dictator, and has some really implausible and over the top moments. On the other, there is actually a point to the story as Stallone’s character Barney Ross comes to realisation that he is desensitised by the violence in his job, and his faith in humanity is restored. So it has some depth to a degree, but honestly it feels misplaced in this movie if anything. It is definitely a tonally inconsistent movie. The scene that exemplifies this is a surprising scene where Mickey Rourke delivers a monologue that is played completely serious. It is great, wonderfully performed by Rourke, and even Stallone’s reactions worked, but that scene just felt out of place especially compared to the scenes right beforehand.

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One of the biggest selling points of The Expendables was the ensemble of recognisable action actors. The performances aren’t special, but at the very least have a charm to them, and the cast have a lot of fun. There’s an interesting mix of people with Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren and more. Mickey Rourke is in a small role and has a few scenes but delivers the best performance for the aforementioned out of place powerful monologue scene. The villains are quite generic and paint by numbers, thankfully the next two Expendables movies delivered better on that with Jean-Claude Van Damme and Mel Gibson.

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Sylvester Stallone’s direction is fine but not great. Some of the action sequences are entertaining, plenty of gun fighting, and there’s also a good amount of absurdity that makes it fun. That being said, there’s some shaky cam and quick cuts in the fight scenes that take away from it. The CGI can also look really bad, however it isn’t the explosions that are the worst of it. The gore and blood effects look absolutely terrible, in fact its probably the worst CGI blood I’ve seen in a movie. It looks straight out of a fan film despite being a big blockbuster.

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The Expendables doesn’t fully succeed in it sets out to do. Tonally it’s a bit inconsistent, some of the action can be hit or miss and it doesn’t reach the fullest potential of having all these action stars together in one movie. That being said, I do like it. It’s fun seeing the cast together, there are some enjoyable moments especially with the absurdity and the action, and there is a charm to it. So if you’re a fan of these 80s and 90s action movies, the first Expendables movie might be worth checking out. That being said, The Expendables 2 did this better and you could probably jump straight to that without needing to see the first film.

Iron Man 2 (2010) Review

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Iron Man 2

Time: 124 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
Gwyneth Paltrow as Virginia “Pepper” Potts
Don Cheadle as James “Rhodey” Rhodes
Scarlett Johansson as Natalie Rushman/Natasha Romanoff
Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer
Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
Director: Jon Favreau

With the world now aware that he is Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from all sides to share his technology with the military. He is reluctant to divulge the secrets of his armoured suit, fearing the information will fall into the wrong hands. With Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) by his side, Tony must forge new alliances and confront a powerful new enemy.

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Iron Man 2 has been given the reputation of being one of the weakest Marvel movies, if not the weakest Marvel movie but it’s by no means a bad movie. It still has good action and some of the subplots are interesting. The biggest problems is that there are too many subplots in this movie and a lot of them don’t really tie together, and overall not much comes from this movie and it feels unnecessary. Still, if that’s as bad as a Marvel movie gets, I think that’s a great sign.

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This film felt like an expansion pack for Iron Man, there is some interesting things like Rhodes becoming War Machine, a subplot involving Tony’s arc reactor which is slowly killing him as well as some more SHIELD information including as the introduction of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow. The problem is that there are too many plotlines, all of these plotlines feel separate and for the most part they aren’t really that interwoven well together. I do feel like Iron Man 2 could’ve been much more relevant to the Marvel universe. There are plot points in Iron Man 2 that makes it worth watching for continuity with The Avengers and other Iron Man appearances after that, aside from those couple plot points however, the film didn’t feel like it needs to happen. The story still isn’t bad, it’s just not as strong or as interesting as other Marvel movies, it is a little messy.

RELEASE DATE: May 7, 2010. MOVIE TITLE: Iron Man 2. STUDIO: Paramount Pictures. PLOT: Billionaire Tony Stark must contend with deadly issues involving the government, his own friends, as well as new enemies due to his superhero alter ego Iron Man. PICTURED: SCARLETT JOHANSSON as Natasha Romanoff

Robert Downey Jr is once again really good, he really is Iron Man and was as good here as he was in the previous movie. As I said in my Iron Man review, Don Cheadle replaced Terrance Howard as Rhodes and he does a much better job. It was also nice seeing him become War Machine, which was one of the better elements of the film. Mickey Rourke is the main villain of the film and although that sounds like a great idea as Rourke can have a good screen presence, the film doesn’t use him effectively. There are really only two times when he poses a threat to Iron Man and the rest of the time he’s just doing some other nonthreatening stuff. Justin Hammer is not a very interesting character but Sam Rockwell really made the role and seemed to be having a whole lot of fun. Scarlett Johansson is decent as Black Widow here, if a little underdeveloped but as later film appearances went on, she does get much better, stronger and much more interesting as a character.

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The action scenes are once again really good, like in the previous film. The only real issue that I might have with the action scenes here is that there aren’t that many of them. I also do feel like the final fight with Mickey Rourke was a little underwhelming, like in the previous movie with Jeff Bridges, only this time it was even shorter and less entertaining.

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Iron Man 2 is one of the worst movies in the MCU series but it isn’t bad by any means. It’s got some good acting, some good action scenes and its nice watching all these plotlines unfold. But at the same time there’s too many subplots that don’t tie in well together, a lot of the payoffs aren’t very satisfying and there wasn’t much purpose for this movie to really exist. However I still think it’s worth watching, it just wasn’t as good as it could’ve been.

Sin City (2005)

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Sin City

Time: 124 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Graphic violence
Director: Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller
Cast:
Mickey Rourke as Marv
Clive Owen as Dwight
Bruce Willis as Hartigan
Jessica Alba as Nancy Callahan
Benicio Del Toro as Jackie Boy
Brittany Murphy as Shellie
Elijah Wood as Kevin

Three tales of crime adapted from Frank Miller’s popular comics which focuses around Marv (Mickey Rourke), a muscular brute who’s looking for the person responsible for the death of his true love, Goldie; Dwight (Clive Owen), a man fed up with Sin City’s corrupt law enforcement who takes the law into his own hands after a mistake and Hartigan (Bruce Willis), a cop who risks his life to protect a girl (Jessica Alba) from a deformed pedophile.

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This is the only comic book movie that has been translated from the graphic novel to the big screen. As someone who read the graphic novels (in preparation for my viewing of the movie) I am blown away at what Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller managed to do with this movie. Robert Rodriguez was the perfect director for this movie, managing to create an film adaptation that every Sin City fan will enjoy.

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The first thing you need to know about this film is that it does have an unusual structure. It mostly focuses on three stories and it shows one story at a time but isn’t necessarily placed in chronological order; chronologically they are happening around the same time. Some of the characters like Marv aren’t just in one story, and may make an appearance in another. All of the dialogue and some of the pictures drawn in the graphic novel are in the film. In many ways, this is the first movie based on a source material that didn’t really need to be adapted; it was just put on film. It was like they scanned the pages of the graphic novels onto the big screen. There is also a guest director appearance from Quentin Tarantino, directing a great scene between Clive Owen and Benicio Del Toro.

The actors in this movie successfully embody the characters they play. Sin City has a huge cast; with actors like Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Benicio Del Toro and many others. Like I said earlier, the dialogue from the characters in the graphic novels are the dialogue here, and each actor delivers the lines just as I imagine the characters would. Everyone here is good and all of the actors seem to be the characters, just as if they have been taken from the comics.

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One of the best things and stand outs about Sin City is its style. The graphic novels have a black and white “noir” look about it. Not everything is black and white, sometimes some things in the movie actually have colour, such as a red dress or golden hair. The violence in this movie is also stylized – most of the blood seen is white and only in some cases is red. This stylistic approach to a comic book adaptation is a first of its kind. This film can have a lot of engrossing investing moments, especially with some scenes where there isn’t dialogue and it allows viewers to take in the giant scale of the locations. This also means the action is filmed very well, and this fact isn’t surprising as this comes from action director Robert Rodriguez. The score mostly composed by Robert Rodriguez is also great and really adds to the atmosphere.

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Anyone who has read the graphic novels will be very satisfied with this movie. This is my favourite movie by Robert Rodriguez and it is hard imagining him outdoing this movie with the upcoming sequel: Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For but I’m still excited to see what he brings to it. As for this movie, the style, the performances, and just the tone and mood make it great. I don’t know if people who haven’t read the comics will like it as much due to the different structure but in my opinion, this film is one of the best comic book ‘adaptations’ that I’ve seen.