Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Expendables & American Super-Power-ism

Jean-claude Van Damme as Vilain (for "villain," of course) holding up Barney's (Sylvester Stallone) own knife he then uses to kill Billy (Liam Hemsworth). That's an excellent point: the knife symbolizes the power and technology America developed to keep law and order in the world that, in American hands, kept socialism from spreading; today, that very same weapon which safeguarded the world then is now being used against us (think, for example, of Iron Man and Tony Stark's (Robert Downey Jr.) dismay seeing the weapons developed by Stark Industries killing the American soldiers they were built to protect).
The Expendables 2 is excellent.
I assure you, it is a far more complex film than you might think, and takes pains at exhibiting "self-awareness" of, as the film itself puts it, "making a statement," which it does loud and clear. For example, in Lawless, just released, the town believes the Bondurant brothers, especially Forrest (Tom Hardy) to be invincible and even immortal; that is Lawless criticizing the American belief that the American Empire will persevere and endure through the symbol of what the Bondurant brothers' moonshine enterprise symbolizes (capitalism); while this is mocked in Lawless, American superiority and Empire is upheld completely by Expendables, and don't be fooled: as I watched the film, I was having difficulty keeping up with how current it is in employing common symbols and issues we're seeing in all the films being released. Even the humor is as deadly as the knives, bullets and punches! In short, if you haven't made plans for Labor Day, going to the movies would be well worth your while!