The Expendables – A Review by Film Nerd

Director: Sylvester Stallone

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, David Zayas, Giselle Itie, Charisma Carpenter, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mickey Rourke

Synopsis: A group of old army pros take on missions for cash requiring their unique brand of high skill.   The plot however is not really important, this is a film about seeing some of the recent pasts great action stars together in one movie.   Even the budget for California could not keep Arnie away from a cameo appearance, just as any action fan should give in to temptation and watch this film!!

My reviews have been somewhat sporadic still, given that my assessment hiatus could still be considered to be in effect.   However, I still am watching movies, even if their sequels are already in cinemas by the time I get to them.   One way to sooth an overworked and over informed brain is to watch something entirely brainless.   It was with this goal that I embarked on watching Expendables.   Not only was it the stylized violence of mindless fun I hoped it would be, but it was just pure entertainment value from opening to close.

Stallone was on to a gold idea with this one.   Collect a group of action stars that have passed their hey-day, but still loved by their fans worldwide.   Stick them all together in one movie.   Have them kill bad guys and fight each other.   To be fair, this is all structured around a loose plot, and occasionally characters get more meat on their story (for instance, Statham’s relationship with Carpenter, herself kind of expendable these days having done little of note since Angel and Buffy).   Also, there is one really emotionally effective moment courtesy of Mickey Rourke, channelling the gravitas that assisted his comeback in The Wrestler.   But the majority of the film is all about the fun of seeing a small group of commandos take on a whole army.

Ironically, given how well this film plays, the title of the film becomes somewhat ironic.   These guys were more than just muscle heads who fought well on-screen.   What this film proves is, despite what these guys now lack in the age department, they still have charisma (literally, in the case of Statham’s character!!)   They carry the film well, and did so such that a sequel was a financially viable option, one that, from all reports has successfully come to fruition.   At the earliest opportunity, I will grab my ticket for The Expendables 2!!

4 stars out of 5


The Expendales on IMDB

The Expendables on Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer [youtube=]

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