Count the blatant quote-whoring in Pete Hammond’s Expendables review

Senior Editor
08.05.10 18 Comments

(Pete and Rachel Zoe, sittin’ in a tree, L-I-T-E-RA-LL-ee…)

That Boxoffice Magazine’s Pete Hammond (who also writes a blog for the LA Times and used to work for Maxim) is a giant whore is nothing new — I first covered his Whore of the Year award from eFilmcritic back in 2008 — but with all the negative attention he gets, you’d think he might at least try to conceal his true purpose (providing marketing soundbites disguised as movie reviews).  Instead, as this guy pointed out, he’s become such a parody of himself that it’s like his reviews are being written by a spambot.  Let’s examine his latest review, of The Expendables.  His most blatant attempts to get himself quoted are in bold text:

A who’s who of classic action stars light up the screen for pure combustible entertainment in Sly Stallone’s The Expendables, a sort of Dirty Dozen meets Inglourious Basterds–and then some. Though this film has a less-than-plausible storyline that’s already been trotted out in various forms earlier this year (The A Team, The Losers), it’s filled with literally explosive excitement.

If I don’t see at least one of those quotes in a trailer, TV spot, or poster, I will literally eat my own sh*t.  But back to the figurative sh*t eating, the rest of this review:

This summer flick finds a group of seasoned mercenaries on an unexpected suicide mission to overthrow a corrupt South American dictator. Released nearly a year after Quentin Tarantino’s Basterds, Expendables hopes to make lightning strike twice in an end-of-season mission to storm the box office and makes off with a lot of loot.

[Sic] metaphor(s), bro!

All signs point to success with male audiences turning out in droves to see a group of stars who, individually, are behind their prime, but together create a dynamite time at the Cineplex and a wee bit of nostalgia for guys longing for action’s golden days of the ’80s and ’90s.

The basic plot of this Lionsgate release follows the formula honed by tons of testosterone-laded movies in which a ringmaster gathers his group of skilled buddies and sets out to do the dirtiest job imaginable.

You want to talk dirty jobs?  Try reading this review! (*bangs the “burn” gong*).  I don’t think “laded” was what he was trying to type, but “testosterone-ladled” would be a nice visual.  Yeah, spoon Sly a double dose of that good testosterone, and make sure you include a couple HGH chunks in there.  Mmm, musculicious.

[blah blah blah plot exposition]
Employing every variation of gun (big and small) and explosions (big and bigger) The Expendables might qualify as the loudest movie of 2010, particularly when Crews goes to town with a giant Uzi; its rumble could shake the theater from its foundation.

Literally!  Wait, no!

Although the action scenes aren’t always directed coherently and the dialogue (from a script by Stallone and David Callaham) is often pedestrian…

And this is coming from a man who clearly has a refined palate when it comes to wordplay.

…you cannot fault the casting, which unites this team of genre names and lets them shine. Lundgren is quite engaging as the confused Gunner and Li is amusing and in control as Yin Yang. Statham provides solid, much needed support throughout and though he often steals the film from Stallone, 64 year old Sly proves he still got “it.” One scene, sure to be the film’s most talked about, unites Sly with his two other one-time superstar rivals, Bruce Willis and an unbilled Arnold Schwarzenegger, in amusing cameos in which they try to out-insult each other. Mickey Rourke also turns up in a handful of scenes as the gadget guy, Tool. Why not?

Oh, Pete, you tool, you just proved that Sly isn’t the only one who’s still got “it.”

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