The Expendables 4: review of the film in the cinema

It takes real madness to make a film like this. Mersen4ri (that is Mercenaries 4, the fourth in a series from which that same visionary 4 instead of a) with a budget perceived to be much, much lower than necessary and also including exotic locations, scenes of destruction, daring car chases, in the air, and so on. It would be crazy, but not admirable, to do this thinking that you could actually cover your tracks and patch it up with CGI without anyone noticing, as if it were a Marvel movie set in space. or on another planet. Instead it’s fourth Mercenaries the action takes place between the United States, Libya and Ocean, but is filmed primarily on a sound stage in front of a green screen. And rarely has it been noticed so strongly. Dolph Lundgren (one of the actors, not the producer) while promoting the film (so not exactly a reliable voice) stated that the budget, like other films, is high, i.e. $100 million. If this were true, an investigation would need to be launched to understand where the money went. Of the many tragedies that haunt this movie, then his very bad behavior is obviously the most serious given his character. I am doingr Mercenaries He has them, but he lacks the writing skills to imagine, create and plan the action scenes to the film’s potential. Instead, at every important moment there is a titanic desire to resemble an expensive film, compensating for all the shortcomings on the set with digital effects of not the best quality. Against. What’s even crazier is that there are also real explosions in the film, some real helicopters can actually be seen in flight, and this only makes the ones that follow even more fake, with bad CGI.

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courtesy of Vertice360

But let’s go step by step. Series The Expendables exploded with the first film, which did very well (it grossed more than double its cost), and in the sequels it then amassed more and more of the old fame (even Harrison Ford at one point), more and more actors in a huge team led by Sylvester Stallone . The second film collected even more, but the third already showed problems, losing meaning, sharpness, and therefore viewers, and, consequently, money. Now in its fourth film, the series is struggling and even Sylvester Stallone, the creator of the whole thing (and the director and screenwriter of the first film), was absent most of the time. In fact, thanks to a loophole in the script, the script soon gets rid of him after he once again involves his team in a deadly mission to find detonators that, in the wrong hands, could lead to the creation of a nuclear device. Stallone left the film, he remains the real protagonist of this film, that is Jason Statham, with a team that has no other big names. At least, he has no other names that could be considered big in recent years. Or at least in the film industry. In fact, today mercenaries are as old as Dolph Lundgren (sweet old Ivan Drago) and Randy Couture, an actress with a booming career like Megan Fox, an actor who does a little bit of everything without asking too many questions like Andy Garcia, and then a new entry 50 cents and Iko Uwais and Tony Jaa, Indonesian and Thai action stars respectively and the only ones really capable of serious action.

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courtesy of Vertice 360

The film opens with an incredible scene between Stallone, Statham and Megan Fox, who immediately takes the stage and begins to unmotivatedly overact, rant and argue. The tone is the same as the comedy, but the characters have 15-year-old problems: one wants to be with his girlfriend, and the other wants to lure him into a boys’ club. Then there will be the first mission with a terrible outcome, the apparent dissolution of the team with Jason Statham ending up handling the security of a “social media influencer”, demonstrating that no one in production has a clear idea of ​​what kind of work the influencer does, and Finally, a truly great mission. In between, there will also be room for Jason Statham to be pissed off about the way powerful men treat women without respect, in a film that features a single woman with a vague leading role (but a very vague one) pandering to the stereotype of the girl who is annoying men. Mercenaries, no matter how much the budget actually was, this is a C movie through and through, one of those that once went straight to DVD, then straight to premium channels, and now (usually) goes straight to less prestigious platforms. If the first market is cinemas, and the second is the most important venues, then this is a third-circuit film. It’s playing in theaters instead, thanks to some of the names involved, and given the previous ones’ box office (always higher overseas than in the United States, demonstrating that this is a third-tier product), it could do well too.

Photography by Gabriele Niola

Born in Rome in 1981, he struggled to survive until he began working as a critic during the golden age of blogging. He began working for pay in the late 2000s and alternated between criticism and freelance journalism for various newspapers. From 2009 to 2012 he was selector of the additional section of the Rome Film Festival, then programmer and for a year also co-director of the Taormina Film Festival. Since 2015 he has been the Italian correspondent for the British newspaper Screen International. He teaches a master’s degree in journalistic criticism at the Silvio D’Amico Academy of Dramatic Art, published in UTET a book interview with Gabriele Muccino entitled La vita apparendo and, together with Bietti, a pamphlet entitled “I hate Italian cinema”. It boasts countless threats from some of Italy’s most decorated directors.

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