The Expendables opened today, and is playing pretty much everywhere. Appeal movie writer Katie Doze and I saw it earlier this week, and here’s what we have to say about it.

Eve: Katie, I have to ask, did you have a “mangasm” during The Expendables?

Katie: Not during the movie, but I was definitely turned on when I got home.

Eve: Thus debunking the argument that there is no reason for a woman to go see this movie!

You know, when I told someone I was reviewing this movie, he said that made no sense, since I was a woman.

Katie: I’m offended.

Eve: Oh, don’t worry, I told him to suck my dick.

Katie: I probably enjoyed it more than some men will.

Eve: I do think that a lot of the movie is predicated on knowing something about the actors in the film, though. Do we still say “meta”? It was meta.

Katie: That’s true, although I’m not too familiar with some of the fighting styles of Randy Couture and Steve Austin.

Eve: But you are perhaps familiar with the fact that Steve Austin beat his wife! Which makes Eric Roberts’ character’s assertion (in the film) that Austin doesn’t mind hitting women HILARIOUS.

Katie: I liked Randy Couture! And normally Eric Roberts annoyed me, but I liked him.

Eve: In fact, I feel like the they really worked to give everyone a nice bit of character. And everyone got their little moment. Stallone was very generous to his cast!

Katie: Except for the helpless chicks.

Eve: Well, yes. All both of them.

Katie: I think that’s what I liked the best, it was like, every character was great, nice and Stallone’s chemistry with everyone was just non-snarky.

Eve: The chemistry was SO GOOD! It was like the opposite of Sex and the City 2. I felt like these guys really liked each other, even when things got complicated, like they did with Dolph. But it felt natural and a little real.

I mean, it was also ridiculous, in terms of deaths and explosions (so many ways to blow things up and/or die!).

Katie: The explosions were very old-school theatrical. It was comforting. It’s such a non-pretentious movie.

Eve: The whole movie was comforting!

Katie: And then the fights, especially the last one between Couture v. Austin, I was on my seat and super excited. It was like how I wish the showdown in super hero movies were.

Eve: And again, speaks to Stallone’s (who was the director and one of the screenwriters) generosity, that he let the best fight go to those guys.

Oh, can we talk about Mickey Rourke? They did not need to cast him as that character, but they did, and I think it elevated the film so much. He has that one scene, the scene that really provides Stallone with the motivation to go “do right,” and it could have been cheap and cheesy, but it wasn’t!

Katie: I agree. I didn’t see The Wrestler because I cannot forgive Aronofsky for The Fountain, so I’m not on the Rourke-resurrected bandwagon. And I HATED Iron Man 2. But! He restored my kindness towards him in this role. Even though he cried and it was cheesy.

Eve: I totally bought the cry. And I am hopelessly retro about men crying, as in, I do not believe it should happen.

Katie: Like how girls buy Sex and the City bullshit!

Eve: Oh fuck you! YOU HATE VETERANS.

Katie: When they have weird hair, yes.

Eve: Let’s move on to Dolph Lundgren. Why isn’t he working more, is it because he is a Frankenstein’s monster? “Hanging a pirate!” HA!

Katie: OHHHH man, you mean Vincent D’Onofrio in Men in Black, I was imagining Tim’s impression the whole time.* He has the craziest body and voice, and he was amazing. I was imagining him as the Terminator.

Eve: I am just saying, I could (in a non wanna fuck him way) watch Dolph in anything, and any time he is in something I wish there were more of him. He is always a condiment when I want him as a main course. But no one was really a main course here, I guess.

Katie: You are right that everyone had some equal time. Equal fighting time and good fights. Stallone was just a moderator.

Eve: He totally was! Though, man, he works on that body. That is amazing, I know there are allegations that he uses a variety of supplements (some illegal), but even with all the HGH in the world that body takes a shitton of work at 64. 64!!

Katie: Those arms need an assistant each.

Eve: Oh and Terry Crews? Who was my FAVORITE person on Everybody Hates Chris, is 42! And looks like that!

Katie: WHAT get outta here.

Eve: This is what I am saying to you. He has a 475 bench. The Rock “only” benches 425 and he is one of the strongest dudes in Hollywood (and is 4 years younger).

Katie: This movie exists to show to older men that they shouldn’t get fat and can work on keeping healthy.

Eve: Look, having those bodies is a full time job, but, still, it’s proof that age is no excuse. I get it, I’m 39, and my recovery time is so terrible compared to what it was at your age. But if these guys can look like that, I think we can all get off the couch a little more. The Expendables: An Inspirational Tale of Exercise.

Katie: And it’s not like the actor’s age didn’t show, everyone had crow’s feet.

Eve: Except Bruce Willis

Katie: Except Baby Butt Bruce Willis. OMG, he must use cold cream at night or something.

Eve: Whatever Bruce Willis uses on his face I want some. PR people, send me samples, please!

Katie: Arnold looked bad, he looked old.

Eve: He looked like how he actually looks! He’s the only one of those guys I have seen face-to-face, of course, because I know no one famous.

Katie: So, Jason Statham. You’ve been quiet.

Eve: It’s my eternal dilemma! I feel I must choose, do I want to fuck that guy or be that guy? In the case of these guys, I want to be them. Except Statham, I want to fuck and be him. It just doesn’t compute. This must be how it feels to be gay and a Mormon. So I’m keeping quiet.

Katie: You are a poet! Another thing I was really impressed with, is that there wasn’t any moral about fists vs. weapons. They also showcased cool weaponry.

Eve: I think that it is safe to say that if you actively dislike action movies this one won’t change your mind, but if you like them even casually you will really like this one. Do you agree?

Katie: Yes! I really want to see it again with people who aren’t body/action nerds, because they would really like it.

Eve: But I think even if you are not a super nerd about action/trivia about these guys, you will still enjoy the movie. You still “get it” even if you don’t know Steve Austin also allegedly beat his girlfriend. You can enjoy the movie for what it is without knowing who everyone is. Right?

Katie: I think so! I’ve never seen a Jet Li movie, and I was really floored. And can you believe they pair him with Dolph in a fight? That’s so cool!

Eve: This would be a great date movie! Because 1) you will learn your date’s views on things like steroids, domestic violence, keeping in shape as one ages and 2) no yucky sex scenes. I hate watching sex scenes with people I either intend to bang or am trying to avoid banging!

Katie: And! Girls get all turned on because they get to see large muscles and boys get turned on because they see large muscles. WIN WIN

Eve: So I say go see The Expendables with anyone except people who only like highbrow movies, because they will ruin it for you. But come on, you probably shouldn’t be friends with anyone who only likes highbrow movies, anyways, so that’s OK.

Katie: It’s comforting and awesome. And I agree. People who had to “think deep thoughts” after Inception will probably say it’s stupid.

Eve: hahahah you mean the movie we’re going to see on Saturday? That Inception?

Katie: Yes. I’m just seeing it to be a good girlfriend.

Eve: I am already planning on loudly announcing “The Expendables was better” as we’re walking out of the theater.

Katie: UH OH!

Eve: Just like The Expendables, I enter every situation with a plan.

*It is true, Appeal contrib Tim Ehhalt’s impression of the character D’Onofrio played in MiB is eerily similar to how DL delivered his lines in The Expendables..

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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