Top critical review
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Lots of unrealized potential
on December 1, 2010
I wanted to like this movie, I really do. For me, like for most posters on this board, this movie provides a dose of 80's nostalgia and a chance to watch our favorite actions heroes strut their stuff one more time. Sly Stallone, despite his once iconic status, has not really been a heavy hitter for quite some time. So the prospect of seeing him stage a possible comeback is another incentive to see this movie.
The result, however, is quite disappointing. Despite a strong cast and not-quite-so-shabby performances, the movie never provided me with the adrenaline rush I was expecting from a movie of this type. That is due to both the lackluster storyline and the poorly-edited action sequences. There are some nice moments between Stallone and Jason Statham that recalls some of the best buddy movies, and the explosions are louder than ever. But for the most part,the action sequences are less satisfying than they could have been because Stallone chose to employ the quick cuts that are so popular in the action genre noawadays, but which only made the action scenes that much more confusing to figure out. A lot of times I would have to wait until the dust have settled after a big fight to figure out what has just happened and who is left standing at the end of it. Also, the under-use of Jet Li in this movie is just criminal. This movie really belongs to Stallone and Statham; and for many of Li's big scenes either Stallone and Statham would be called upon to save him at the end. The sole purpose of Li's participation only seems to be to provide the movie with its third big name star. But what is the point of using someone like Jet Li if you're not going to give him a chance to do what he does best?
So in conclusion, while this movie could have been a lot worse, it could also have been a lot better. Word is that a sequel is already in the works. Here's hoping that the 2nd movie is a lot more satisfying than the first one.