Truly Expendable: Schwarzenegger-Stallone 20 Years Too Late

I just got a text from my best friend about how The Expendables packed the action. Apparently, it was also packed the crowds. It won the box office easily. Eat Pray Love obviously didn’t spend enough time down on its hands on knees. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World forgot about one badass ex boyfriend — Sly Stallone. OK, that’s actually kinda creepy given that she’s like 20 and he’s like 60, especially after the whole hands and knees reference, but you get the point. Every male with just a tad too much testosterone pumping through his veins went to see this sucker.

I think I am the only male between the ages of 18-45 who didn’t see The Expendables. And I don’t think I will see it. I don’t know if I can.

Two things come to mind; 1.) How Righteous Kill righteously killed my childhood. I had to go visit Dr. Howard Mierzwiak and have him wipe my mind of any recollection of the film so I wouldn’t go home and wipe my ass with my DVD copies of The Godfather II and Heat. That’s how heartbroken I was over Al Pacino and Robert De Niro doing that movie. 2.) A Rolling Stones show I watched on HBO a few years back. I was too busy worrying about Mick Jagger breaking a hip or Keith Richard’s veins exploding to enjoy the music, which wasn’t what I imagined it was when my parent’s generation enjoyed the band during their prime. The only reason I kept watching was because I was waiting for a Robin Williams comedy special. HBO probably counted on that. Bloodsuckers, er, rather True Bloodsuckers.

Look, Rambo and Rocky Balboa were pretty decent films. I could have done with less of that homely woman in Rocky Balboa, but, hey, even homeless-looking/too-much-plastic-surgery Rocky still has needs. Regardless, those two final installment do-overs basically saved the image of both franchises. Mission accomplished. At that point, Sly should have considered himself lucky that those projects worked out so well and ridden off into the sunset as an action star. He could’ve done a Murray-an shift (as in Bill), and taken roles in more films like Copland, films that embraced his age, his current public image, and most notably the shift away from corny action flicks that Hollywood has taken. He’s even admitted that the 80s action star has gone the way of the dinosaur. So why play John Hammond, build Jurassic Park and go against nature? That’s a dangerous game.

20 years ago, say, back in 1990, an Arnold Schwarzenegger-Sylvester Stallone collaboration would have set Hollywood on fire. Now, it’s a summer afterthought that only makes $35 million by beating out Julia Roberts and Michael Cera playing the same role they’ve both already played 347 times. I realize Ah-nuld was only in the film briefly, but this was still the only time they have ever been in a film together and that’s just too much for me to stomach. Why didn’t this happen when they were in their respective primes? Artistic differences? Eff that, they aren’t artists — they made Judge Dread and Last Action Hero, for chrissakes. Money? They were and still are two of the richest guys in Hollywood. Personal differences? Please. They’re good buddies.

Maybe I just need to get over it and be glad they ever made it on the same screen at the same time, but that’s not going to happen. The reviews for this thing are terrible, the two of them look old and tired, and all I can think about is what could have been. I loved those movies, especially Arnie’s, but that was back then and that ship sailed long ago. Memo to all of Hollywood’s current A-listers: if you want to do a movie with another big actor or actress, make it happen now not later. We don’t want to see Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Smith do a sci-fi thriller together in the year 2030 — we want to see that flick now, when they are in their respective primes.

That’s why The Expendables is truly expendable in my eyes. You can only wait around for something for so long before you stop caring altogether. There was an 11 year old who wanted to see Arnold and Sly shooting it out. This 31 year old is rolling his eyes and saying grow up. You’re making me feel old, fellas.