Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Unfortunately the title Old Hogs was already taken, or it might have been perfect for a film that stars Sylvester Stallone, Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, Jet Li and Dolph Lundgren, and features walk-on cameos by Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarznegger.
The Expendables, co-written and directed by Stallone himself, is a throwback to those good old mindless action movies of the 80s, except that the actual stunts and action choreography in this film didn’t need to be as old-fashioned and predictable as its plot.
Our heroes participate in a string of all-too-familiar gun-fights, car chases and explosion sequences in this tired tale about a bunch of mercenaries trying to take down a South American dictator and a former CIA operative-gone-rogue, while seeking to rescue a not-particularly-stunning damsel in distress.
The dialogues in this film are sparse, and the supposedly meaningful scenes make you giggle…like one in which Mickey Rourke recalls a moment in Bosnia when he knew his soul had dried up.
The Expendables is likely to work strictly for hardcore action-movie buffs, who might enjoy the frenetic pace of the blow-ups and shootings, and are willing to overlook the sheer cheesiness of this enterprise.
To be fair, although I prefer my action Jason Bourne style, I will confess I felt a certain thrill watching the legendary Stallone get down and dirty with younger, tougher guys. However, the climax is too long, and there isn’t a single fight scene that stands out for its originality or its unpredictability.
I’m going with two out of five for The Expendables. The only thing going for it is nostalgia. Thousands of bullets are fired, not one will graze our heroes; Stallone gets a tattoo imprinted on his back, doesn’t so much as wince. They don’t make movies like this anymore. People like me would say that’s a good thing!
Rating: 2 / 5
What's your reaction to 'The Expendables'?