“Shit Happens” concedes Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) in the epoynmous blockbuster of 1994, in response to unrelenting journalists who’d pester him for any message, not content with his admission that his run was truly without a cause! It captured the imagination of not just his devout adherents in that movie, but much beyond as well! It probably rejuvenated popular use of that term – many wore T Shirts sporting the existential mantra with great aplomb, with the altruism that’s reserved for sharing gold found by serendipity.
For Stallone fans, however, of late, the aphorism has been Embrace Shit ! Well, at least I did so wilfully, yesterday, paying £ 8.90 weekend full price adult ticket, for the 103 min self-patronising fun, on how ironical can one get while walking into a cesspool ! Given that the movie hall was fairly occupied, I bet there are indeed many like me – Sly fans with unconditional affection for their Dear Hero to part with some £/$/ towards his pension fund, in return for precious little, for our man has done enough good Karma in his hey days to deserve sumptuous dinners now !
If you aren’t charity inclined, you should be ‘on expenses’ at least ! Else, The Expendables will leave you brooding for not returning even your principle !
The script incessantly makes one realise how sophisticated the lyrics of hip-gyrating Shakira songs are. Also, you don’t have to feel sorry anymore, for Jackie Chans of the world being let down by ‘out-of-lip-sync’ dubbing script in English. This movie sets the bar to such universalist levels that an Eskimo child, emerging from recent thawing of ice, can contribute a few lines, without any equal opportunity clause in employment.
The plot (what of it ?!) is ankle-deep and so, even when it thickens, it’s less than meets the eye freshwater pond. Yet, the surprising feat of this movie being, even with very low expectations, tamed by other reviews before heading to cinema, and also after watching the first 40 odd minutes of the movie, the rest of the film still manages to make you feel deprived and gasping !
In 2008, Stallone’s valiant attempt to relive Rambo summarily appalled many, like this reviewer. And, though I cringe, rightfully so. Sanity would warrant treading his future missions, even as a spectator, with more caution. But for some, like me, the insanity of expecting a different result from a media-rubbished man still holds its place!
Stallone, the Samaritan, is still driven by simple pleasures of life – getting an extra square inch of his real estate in the back tattooed, rescuing hapless women from local tyranny (even if it means wiping out all potent bridegrooms of her ilk from her neighbourhood), remembering Balkan war days with fellow veteran (the expansive breaths and mutual glares, as Mickey Rourke recalls Bosnia days, would make a viewer mistake the timeline of that strife to WW II days!) etc.
Jason Statham perhaps went on a egg-yolk only diet for months before shooting, with the result that though he relishes riding large bikes, he’d have to swim across the English channel umpteen times before he could slip into a suave suit for Transporter franchise again !
Dolph Lundgren apparently displayed a great deal of oriental reverence for Stallone in recent interviews to the press, thanking the Rocky IV preceptor for airlifting him from Sweden to perform this once-in-a-lifetime role with rest of the ensemble. Surely, his contentment in life is almost at par with the Dalai Lama. I only hope at least during a water-cooler conversation with Stallone, he was retrospectively apprised of what exactly his role was/is in the movie.
Jet Li is quite nonplussed and anxious about the sum he would to get from the ‘mission’; his equal share of $ 1m would appear not sufficient to move his children to better school. In hindsight, it may have as well been a question to Stallone himself, for his role in the movie, for if it were based on x $$ per fly kick he dispenses to the goons, the total wouldn’t even provide for return leg air fare to Hong Kong !
No redeeming feature at all, in this earth/muscle summit ?! Yes, there is one at least – the hauntingly beautiful Giselle Itié – access to the big screen @ £ 8.90 does help appreciate her lot better than a near-future (!) prospect that 40″ LCD viewing would behold (Film4 should have earmarked this movie for early purchase at a discounted rate!). Full marks to Sly for including rescuing her from nominal TV roles and showcasing the Latino beauty, with talent, to mainstream Hollywood !
Anything else ?
Well, keep the change (£ 1.10) please, for his next movie – hopefully the last pennies you may want to drop into brawn relief fund !