THE EXPENDABLES

Before seeing this film I thought the brevity of Bruce and Arnie’s cameos was lame but after seeing it I realize they were the smartest actors in the film. By limiting their involvement to the bare minimum, they don’t escape unscathed — the worst script of 2010 is no respecter of persons — but they do limit the damage to their reputations.

When Arnie walks out of the scene (or walks out on it?) he shows how to make a gracious exit appropriate to one’s age, in stark contrast to Stallone, at 64 the oldest man in the film, whose plastic surgery has made him look more like his mother instead of younger. Behind his back Stallone jokes that Arnold wants to become president — a reprise of the same joke in Demolition Man — but the rest of the movie backfires in the face of the mocker, making Arnold’s third career look dignified by comparison.

In terms of the 80s Nostalgenre, The A-Team has everything The Expendables doesn’t: characters with actual personalities, dialogue that makes sense, jokes that are funny, inventive action scenarios, and the most delightfully detestable villain of the year.

Mercifully I had a 40%-off voucher for my ticket.

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