Ten years ago we had a vision. Okay, not so much a 'vision', but more accurately we had a lot of time on our hands, and I personally spent a large portion this time watching movies. To justify this time, and also because of my friends at Encode Media Group I was lucky enough to be a part of the critics screening process... which I must admit got really old really fast... and Film Critics United was born. We did watch the big Hollywood movie here and there at the FCU, but what we really enjoyed was a little more off the beaten path. Any form of 70's exploitation, Godzilla movies, SyFy originals, Asylum mockbusters, 80's action classics, and South Korean revenge just to name a few of our favorite genres. That's where the real fun was happening.
That was ten years ago. Ten years is an awful long time to do just about anything and as such the doors of Film Critics United are being shuttered. More or less. The site isn't actually going anywhere, and it will probably always be parked in this very spot until the internet ends or I drop dead of a heart attack and fail to pay the fees, whichever comes first, but the plan is to always keep it here as a reference on the glory of typos and suspect grammar.
However the front page probably won't be updated anymore, updates were becoming more and more infrequent as it was, and while we aren't going to completely stop reviewing films, they will be much fewer and far between. The Indexes will be updated to reflect any updates. And it's not like there's a shortage of outlets to take up the slack since there are way more sites now than there were ten years ago.
We'd like to thank all of you who stopped by to spend a few moments with us, all of you who occasionally dropped an email and said something nice or offered a friendly suggestion, and we even want to thank those who said stuff that wasn't so nice, though it was very rare, like the guy who said he would call me Sophomoric, but that would be an insult to sophomores… which was kind of funny… because it took effort to craft that email and we appreciate that.
We'd also like to give a gigantic thanks to all the filmmakers, not those big studio guys because they aren't even aware of our existence, but the hardworking true independents who have sent us screenings of their labors over the years. Some were good, some were terrible, but every single disc or link that we got was greatly appreciated.
On behalf of all of those who have written for us over the years, Rob, Les Scott, Lee… who I've known most of my misbegotten life… my aunt's Malaika and Gwen who I've known my entire life, Lisa who has been invaluable in keeping this going and giving it a second life, and of course Bud who helped launch this thing way back in 2005… we want to thank you. Constantine by the way. The first review we ever published. Just throwing that out there just in case you, by chance, happen to be on Jeopardy and Alex asks that question. It could happen.
It has been a ball ya'll. Keep watching, keep reading, keep writing and don't ever stop creating.
Christopher Armstead Young.
Film Critics United.
The mission, of course, is to infiltrate enemy territory and get the First Daughter back. From my viewing standpoint, as this mission gets started, it looks to be the worst plan for a mission ever. If I were to base an actual First Daughter rescue mission on what I saw in this movie, Malia Obama better hope she never gets kidnaps by aging warlords because she's totally dead. That doesn't mean this mission won't be a success though, despite some double crosses, some tragedy, and of course Ulrica trying to put the moves on… But our ladies are going to find a way to save this woman… who was driving through Kazakhstan for some reason… no matter what.
As you might know, 'Mercenaries' is The Asylum's response to the Expendables series of movies, and I can safely say that I at least enjoyed this movie more than I enjoyed 'Expendables
3', despite the fact I'm certain the entire budget of this movie was probably half of whatever Terry Crews got paid to lay in a hospital bed for most of that movie.
So what does 'Mercenaries' have working for it? For starters director Christopher Ray does have a reasonably accomplished cast of seasoned vets to work with. We mention their maturity because at the tender age of 36, Kristanna Loken is the youngest of the lot. But, gosh darn, we even have Cynthia Rothrock in this movie! Hell, I didn't even know that the original Mistress of Mayhem was still alive, let alone working, but here she is. She didn't get to do much ass kicking but the woman is almost sixty. Which further calls into question the purple streaks in her hair. We have Zoe Bell headlining this thing, who popped out of her mother's womb being awesome, and of course the legendary Bridgette Nielson… legendary despite 'Flavor of Love'… who seemed to have a great time being the baddie in this nonsense. Vivica Fox, who twenty years ago was in the top ten of the hottest women on the planet Earth, and who can play sassy about as well as anybody, Kristanna Loken, who is about as well put together as any woman ever, and one with a history of playing female badasses and when she an Bridgitte square off, that's like twelve feet worth of woman doing battle, and of course Nicole Bilderback. We have no idea who this woman is. She's pretty hot though. And we have to give a shout out to actor Tim Abell, playing some kind of Khazak strongman, who is actually a pretty solid actor who has the misfortune of only showing up in movies like these. I mean I'm happy to see him in these movies, but I don't know if he's happy to always be in them.
The story we are given is braindead simple, and the filmmakers didn't do anything to try to trick this story out, and we appreciate this. The action is plentiful, and while some of this action is admittedly suspect, there is still a lot of it and we appreciate this as well. And since this is an action movie with a simple narrative, there may be the occasional plot point or character action that will not compute, but these inanities at least keep this one hurtling forward. A few notes… Future Warlords, don't give strange women with guns free reign to your compound. Also, don't trust your information from Wikipedia. Also, when shooting somebody dead, make sure the bullets actually hit them before making that declaration. And don't play poker with Sassy Sista's with guns. And if you're a lesbian, make sure the person you are putting the moves on is one too. Just some random notes for future warlords.
'Mercenaries', while still not legitimately a good movie, can't really can't call it that, but I can say that it met… and maybe even exceeded my expectations for it. We will gladly take that and call it a day.