Directed by Sylvester Stallone
With the highly anticipated sequel to The Expendables due out tomorrow, The Man-Cave wanted to to take a moment away from SHARK WEEKZ to review the original...
When you were younger, did you ever dream of watching the all-stars of action heroes all in one film? Did you ever want to see your favorite characters from Rambo, Commando, Die Hard, and countless others blow up the screen together? Well, Sylvester Stallone has answered the call with his film The Expendables, a throwback action flick that combines the great action heroes of yesteryear with the talented action stars of today.
Barney Ross (Stallone) heads up the mercenary group "The Expendables", which includes Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Ying Yang (Jet Li), Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), and Toll Road (Randy Couture). Each maintaining a certain skill and strength making the "whole more powerful than the one", they consider themselves to be the best of the best in their industry and will take on any job as long as the pay is right and they are allowed to take a moralistic approach in their slaughters.
After a recent mission, Ross is recruited by the mysterious Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) to take out General Garza (Dexter's David Zayas) and his army on the island of Vilena. When the Garza's daughter Sandra (Giselle Itie) helps them to do recon of the island, they deduct that Church is actually C.I..A. and his true reason for this job is to have them assassinate former agent gone bad, James Munroe (Eric Roberts). Once they are able to escape Vilena with every intention to remove themselves from the operation, since they do not involve themselves in shady government business, they are forced to go back to the island only to save Sandra because Ross' humanity enables him to do the right thing. Making matters worse for them is Munroe's own muscle, including The Brit (Gary Daniels) and Paine ("Stone Cold" Steve Austin), as well as Hansen, who sides with Munroe once Ross bumps him off the team after tiring of his loose cannon antics. Let the games begin!
The Expendables is pure 80's action movie bliss with a touch of current act(ion)ors who are keeping the genre alive. The story is simple, the dialogue is simpler and the acting is deliciously cheesy at best...and that's the way pure action fans this movie is geared towards like it! There is nary a time when carnage is not being thrown at the screen, so don't look for deep character development or plot substance. Like the great Roddy Piper once stated, these guys are "here to kick ass and chew bubble gum", and their supply of Bubblalicious ran out a long time ago.
Other notable cameos include Mickey Rourke, who plays Tool. He is sort of a mentor and father figure to the whacky team being that he is a former mercenary who left the business a while ago when he needed to re-think his life's direction. Of course, there is also the heavily hyped appearance of Arnold Schwarzenegger appearing side-by-side with Stallone as a rival mercenary team leader, who turns down Church's offer in favor of Ross.
If you are not in the demographic the movie is gauged at, you are going to roll your eyes or whine how "dumb" it is. So do yourself a favor and hit up some art films instead. For you action film fans longing to see the genre's gold standard on screen all at once, you are going to mark out like you are ten years old all over again. You will also find pleasure with the in-jokes galore that relates to great flicks of the past. The most hilarious one is contained in Stallone's comments about Schwarzenegger's character.
If you miss your 80's blow 'em action yarns and want to see one for current times, Stallone has given you a movie that is close as it is ever going to those glory days. A veteran of many successful action films, even Cobra (shut up, it's awesome!), Stallone at the helm is a solid choice to direct. He understands what the fans want and gives it to them again and again on a silver platter. Funny thing is that he is actually upstaged by Statham, the champion of new age action flicks and an integral inclusion in this film.
The only thing that would have made The Expendables even more blissful would have been appearances by other icons Jean-Claude Van Damme and Wesley Snipes, who both dropped out of the film for one reason or another, as well as Chuck Norris. But hey - there is always the upcoming sequel due to be released, so you never know who is going to show up. And we all know Chuck will be there.
Be "Expendable" with your wallet and buy this flick if you have not already and bring back the days of fun, mindless violence...when it was all so free and innocent.
(THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON THE BLU-RAY EXTENDED CUT)
|4 out of 5 BAD ASS SANTAS|