Hey gang, Valkor here. So when it comes time to settle down and watch a new film, the first thing I usually pay attention to are the companies who’ve had a hand in the films’ production and/or distribution; depending on the name, one of two things will happen – I’ll either smile with appreciation or frown with disappointment. When I got the chance to watch “The Dependables” DVD and saw that the film was being distributed by Phase 4 Films… well needless to say I wasn’t happy. I mean these are the guys who did "A Talking Cat!?!" and "Alien Uprising", and they're not even close to being favorites.
The Dependables uses an obvious play on words to work against popular films, now a trilogy, The Expendables. The style is also the same in that it gathers a few well-known actors from the past, bringing them together for this film. In The Dependables, five ex-soldiers come together to form a rescue mission after their grandchildren are kidnapped by a ruthless terrorist sect led by Abdul Al-Razzaq. While they still maintain they have the skills to get the job done, the U.S. military is against their mission. However, with the help of an old friend within the ranks, they gain the much needed assist to bring the fight to Razzaq’s front door and return their boys home.
The Dependables brings along some past greats such as Margot Kidder (Superman), Lou Gossett Jr. (Iron Eagle), Bo Svenson (Walking Tall series), character actor Seymour Cassel, Cedric Smith (X-Men 90s series), and Tom Jackson (Shining Time Station). And find it very, very odd that Margot Kidder is missing from the box art, yet her character is like the most important in the film… odd indeed. Also, where was Eric Roberts throughout all this?
I get the idea behind “The Dependables”, which sort of spoofs the original (I’m looking forward to the all-female version “The Expenda-belles”), but this new film goes off on a more dramatic turn. The opening isn’t too bad, but it’s only as you delve further in does it get worse… much worse (more on that later). I like the idea of bringing together these veteran actors who still look great and it would appear as though they were having a blast making this film; which is a good thing because other than the acting or the dramatic take, we’re left with nothing else but…
Ugh! What can I say? The film is out and out terrible. The idea is pretty sound but execution fails miserably. What hurts the film initially is that it appears as though it’s going to be a comedy, but it’s not – it’s anything but funny! The idea is ripe for comedy pitting a bunch of elderly military types against an elite terrorist group, but then the film tries to be all serious and well… it fails. The Dependables has a runtime of 100 minutes, but it feels like it’s much longer in how it drags. The addition of the drug subplot is what really hurts it the most as its unnecessary; it tries being like a twist, but it makes you want the film to be over that much quicker. Then you toss in the slow moving action bits and zero buildup towards anything close to climatic and you’ve got yourself the perfect sleep aid.
I’d hate to see the face of anyone who actually paid for this film and after they’ve finished watching it. Oof!
The Dependables DVD (also known as Pride of Lions, is available now; but don’t let the name fool you as it doesn’t come anywhere close to being as good as The Expendables. I give a slight pass for the actors, who are some of my personal favs I’ve grown up with, but the film itself? Atrocious. And out of TOV 5 stars I give The Dependables a 1. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go wash my eyes out with a good movie.