Bullet Points: Mercenaries (2014)
I’m going to come right out and say it… I enjoyed Mercenaries more than I did the original Expendables film.
If that statement offends you, feel free to click on one of the many other reviews and features on the site. If it did not offend you or possibly intrigued you, please continue on…
For all intents and purposes, Mercenaries is the female version of The Expendables. The concept behind The Expendables is a great one and Hollywood being Hollywood, you knew it was only a matter of time before they tried to replicate the concept much like they have been doing for years with the Die Hard and Lethal Weapon formulas.
Cynthia Rothrock (China O’Brien and No Retreat, No Surrender 2) and Brigitte Nielsen (Cobra and Mission of Justice) bring the old school action flavor to the movie, much like Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren did for The Expendables. Throw in Vivica A. Fox (Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2 and Blast), Kristanna Loken (Terminator 3) and stunt woman Zoe Bell and you have some women who have proven they can deliver an ass whooping.
- Our Villain: Brigitte Nielsen does a great job in the role of Ulrika, the leader of a group of militants that have taken the President’s daughter hostage while she was travelling abroad on a peace mission in a war torn country. Like many great villains, Ulrika is eccentric. She grew up in a military family and has some major daddy issues. This causes her to have extreme paranoia about all men… well except her stooge and lap dog Grigori (played by Tim Abell of Instinct to Kill fame). This male paranoia is a huge obstacle for the CIA, who want to get the President’s daughter back alive. Since no man is going to be able to infiltrate Ulrika’s fortress, then perhaps a group of well trained women are the right man for the job!
- Mercenaries Assemble: Cynthia Rothrock plays Mona, the CIA agent tasked with assembling a team of women who are tough enough to pull off this impossible mission. She thinks outside the box, by actually thinking inside the box… and by box I mean prison. First there is Cassandra Clay (Zoe Bell) she is in prison after kicking the tar out of her commanding officer while serving in Iraq. Then there’s Kat Morgan (Kristanna Loken), she’s a former Marine sniper who used her skills to take a shot at her ex and his mistress. Up next is Mei-Lin Fong (Nicole Bilderback), she’s an explosives enthusiast who bombed a crooked Wall Street bank. And last but not least is Raven (Vivica A. Fox), she’s former CIA herself but went rogue and became a hit woman for hire because it simply paid better than her government job. All the women are offered full Presidential pardons if they can bring back the First Daughter alive.
- Divas Revolution: After a while, you no longer look at the women in the movie as female action stars, but instead as simply ACTION STARS. Zoe Bell was the real stand out in the action aspect, thanks in huge part to her stunt background. The physicality she brought to the table had to be a big factor in putting her in the role of Cassandra, who was more or less the unofficial leader of the team. But make no mistake about it, the other ladies also deliver in the action department and Mercenaries manages to jam a lot of action into its short 89 minute run time.
So why did I like Mercenaries more than The Expendables? As much as I am a fan of Sylvester Stallone and all the hours of entertainment he has provided over the years, he does get a little too caught up in being an “artist” at times. You got your Academy Award a long time ago Mr. Stallone, we know you’ve got talent, but please just kick ass and shoot people now.
Mercenaries never tries to be anything more than it is supposed to be… mindless fun! And sadly it seems fun is often overlooked in movies that should be about nothing more than fun and pure escapism. That was not the case with Mercenaries.
Now let’s have a little more fun with some Mercenaries Bonus Bullet Points…
- Nice Shot: At one point, with only two bullet2 left Kat Morgan has to take out two guys with rocket launchers. She takes out the first guy with ease but the second guy she manages to only shoot in the arm but that results in one of the most spectacular scenes in the film.
- Best Quote: “The President’s daughter was kidnapped by an Amazonian She-Bitch.” – Mona
- Best Toast: “To nipples. Because without them titties would be pointless” – Kat Morgan
- Goofs: See if you can spot the painfully obvious rubber knife when you watch the movie.
- Suggestion Box: In the Mercenaries sequel (and SPOILER ALERT! they do set one up), I’d like to see more action from Cynthia Rothrock’s character and it may not be a bad idea to work Mimi Lesseos into the movie either.