SYLVESTER STALONE JET LI JASON STATHAM DOLPH LUNDGREN
ERIC ROBERTS MICKEY ROURKE BRUCE WILLIS STEVE AUSTIN
The Oscar nominated action star of the 1980’s continues to push forward on a comeback career. So far Sylvester Stallone made a new Rocky film and more recently another Rambo film, now the writer/director delivers a new project that groups other action stars past their prime. The Expendables caters to a nearly forgotten demographic, those fans that grew up with action films from Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis and Van Damme seem to have been waiting for this type of film to return. Budgeted around $80 million, Stallone proved he still had it with a $102 million dollar gross at the box office, guaranteeing he will deliver a sequel since that’s what he does best.
Barney Ross (Stallone) and his crew including right hand man Lee Christmas (Statham) and Ying Yang (Li) head into small South American city to destroy a violent dictator (Roberts). These mercenaries for hire are given their instructions by a man named Mr. Church (Willis) with no real idea where his loyalties lie. Barney and his team take on hostel fire from the moment they arrive to the second they leave, with only a beautiful rebel named Sandra (Giselle Itie) to give them clues to complete the mission.
The severe lack of interest in this plot makes this difficult to get into; I found myself day dreaming, picking at my fingernails and counting down the seconds until the credits roll. No amount of explosions, cheesy lines, or even watching Oscar nominated Mickey Rourke giving tattoos can hold attention to this movie. Stallone looks as fried and surgically altered as he ever has, while the rest of the has-beens look bored, as Stallone gets all the notable action sequences. Cameos by Willis and Schwarzenegger do little to infuse the lackluster movie.
For those of us embracive of new age action films like Transformers, The Bourne Identity or even The Dark Knight, turning back to a film like The Expendables that is just clichés written around explosions doesn’t provide much imagination to the viewer. Sure those fans of Stallone will fuel this time of film, but for the rest of us this is the kind of material we are usually thankful is sent straight to DVD. However this movie is playing to a different crowd, and I do realize that, but at the same time, a good movie appeals to everyone and this film offers zero enjoyment to those under 35 years old.
Final Thought – Grumpy Old Men meets Rambo.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Jennifer Gih