THIS is an action movie done the right way. The Expendables has everything you could ever want in one film. You want throwing knives that thunk when they hit their target? Got it! You want body parts and decapitations from missile launchers? You got it! Are you a fan of the good old days of cinema when the body count in a film ranged from the 300 to 500 victim area? You got it! You want hot damsels in distress that only the macho men can save? You got it! Is it offensive and completely politically incorrect? You bet it is! And it’s a whole lot of fun the whole way through.
Sylvester Stallone has returned to what he does best once again. He directs and stars in an over-the-top (no pun intended) gore-filled action yarn where the corrupt leaders of a foreign country and a crooked ex-FBI agent get what they deserve in the end – their a$$@s kicked, beat down, and blown up. This is the movie that all testosterone junkies have been waiting for since 1989.
What a cast! You basically have almost every action star from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s all brought together for an out-of-control and adrenalin-laced two hour beat down. The only guys really missing from this flick are Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme. You’ve got Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, and Mickey Rourke from the 80s. Representing for the 90s, you’ve got Bruce Willis and Terry Crews. Then you’ve got Jason Statham, Jet Li, Randy Couture, and Stone Cold Steve Austin showing up for the class of the new century. Top that off with one of the greatest character actors out there playing the role of the double-crossing sell-out scum bag with the finesse that only he can – Eric Roberts – as the bad guy. There’s no way that this combination wouldn’t work.
The story was simple enough but not dumbed down by any means. It basically revolves around “a group of mercenaries [who are] hired to infiltrate a South American country and overthrow its ruthless dictator. Once the mission begins, the men realize things aren’t quite as they appear, finding themselves caught in a dangerous web of deceit and betrayal. With their mission thwarted and an innocent life in danger, the men struggle with an even tougher challenge — one that threatens to destroy this band of brothers.” It actually is as smart as it needs to be to keep it from being brainless, if that makes any sense.
The only real problem with the film is that some of the digital editing of the severed and blown up body parts look a bit animated and too bright. Other than that, I have no complaints. What’s to complain about? All I could do the entire film was smile and go “wow!” at the unbelievable and thoroughly ridiculous mayhem happening through the whole film. When can we expect an Expendables 2? That’s all I want to know.