Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Action The Expendables (2010)

The Expendables (2010)

            So, what do you get when you combine an ensemble cast of almost every action superstar of the last three decades with massive stunt work, special effects and virtually no plot?  You get The Expendables.  I entered this film with a heavy heart and a tentative mind hoping that it would at least turn out respectable.  Like many movie goers, I grew up watching characters brought to life by acting legends Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger kill people for our entertainment.  So as long as their epic reputations weren’t grinded into dust by the making of this movie, I was happy. 

            The super mega-cast for this one consisted of Stallone and Jason Statham who played the two main characters, Barney Ross and Lee Christmas.  The rest of the Expendable mercenary team included Ying Yang (Jet Li), Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), and Toll Road (Randy Couture).  They do exactly what mercenaries are made for.  Whatever the person paying them wants them to do.  Mickey Rourke plays Tool, who is a former member of the team and now a tattoo artist and a good friend of Ross.

            Basically a man casually named Mr. Church (Bruce Willis in a cameo spot) offers Ross and his team the seemingly simple job of traveling to South America to take down a dictator.  In time they learn that this task will be slightly more difficult than they believed.  

            Through the direction of Stallone, this film, by far, follows the original blueprint on how to produce an action film.  The next to no plot allows the audience to focus on what’s important in the film: the action.  Authentically paying tribute to the movies of the same genre of the 80’s and 90’s, The Expendables throws everything out there.  Action junkies who worshipped those classic films will appreciate the work put into this one. 

            Everyone’s favorite bad guy, Eric Roberts, plays the trademark villain you would find in an action film.  He is backed by henchman/bodyguard, Dan Paine (Steve Austin).  Together they form a bad guy team that is expected in a film such as this.  Ruthless, straight to the point and all about the money.  What else do you need from your criminals?

            My absolute favorite aspects of the film were the fight scenes.  I was afraid that with such a hefty roster, there wouldn’t be enough screen time for everyone and there wasn’t.  But still, somehow, they made it work in a way to that will probably keep the audience happy.  With many wrestling and MMA inspired maneuvers, the well choreographed stunt fighting won’t give you time to get bored.  I was very pleased to see Jason Statham and Jet Li teaming up in one scene combining their martial art backgrounds to take down a baddie.  I can’t lie by saying I was half expecting to see Steve Austin deliver a Stone Cold Stunner but his scraps along with Randy Couture’s were also well performed.

            The special effects and presence of some massive pyrotechnics felt like they were trying to combine every explosion ever used in an action film all at once.  I couldn’t help but smile at this but I will admit it was entertaining if nothing else.  That joined together with Terry Crews and his big ass motherf***ing gun is gruesome and hilarious at the same time. 

            Surely no one will win any acting awards here but not many action stars do.  This film is heavy on artillery, little on emotion and sharp on the loss of random body parts.  Camera angles and Sylvester Stallone trying to run brings the realistic nature into the film.  A couple of times he looks like he is about to pass out to me; although he is still pretty fit, he is up there in age. 

            Overall I enjoyed the final product feeling like it paid the deserved homage to the action movies of the past.  Including a second cameo from another big name star puts the cherry on top and completes the film.  I give The Expendables “4 earned respects to action stars of the past and present out of 5”.

“We are the shadow, the smoke in your eyes, the ghosts that hide in the night.”   

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2 thoughts on “The Expendables (2010)”

  1. I saw this film Friday and I’m going back to see it again this weekend. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an action film such as this. Expendables was bad ass.

  2. The fight scenes were amazing, and the ending has the scent of sequel all over it. This movie was terrible in the since of a plotline-driven film, but the actual fighting and choreography was AMAZING!

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