An all-star cast of action-movie icons headline Sylvester Stallone's explosive action thriller about a group of hard-nosed mercenaries who are double-crossed during a treacherous mission. Approached by the shadowy Church to overthrow tyrannical South American dictator General Gaza (David Zayas) and restore order to the troubled island country of Vilena, stoic soldier of fortune Barney Ross (Stallone) rounds up an unstoppable team that includes former SAS soldier and blade specialist Lee Christmas (Jason Statham); martial arts expert Yin (Jet Li); trigger-happy Hale Caesar (Terry Crews); cerebral demolitions expert Toll Road (Randy Couture); and haunted sniper Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), a combat veteran who never misses his mark. Traveling to Vilena on a reconnaissance mission with his old pal Christmas, Barney meets their local contact, a cagey guerrilla fighter named Sandra (Giselle Itie). It isn't long before Barney and Christmas have discovered that their actual target is not General Gaza but James Monroe (Eric Roberts), a former CIA operative who has recently gone rogue. Monroe won't be easy to get to either, because his hulking bodyguard Paine (Steve Austin) is a force to be reckoned with. When their mission is compromised, Barney and Christmas are forced to flee, leaving Sandra behind to face almost certain death. But Barney isn't the kind of soldier to abandon a mission, or a hostage, and now in order to get the job done he'll need the help of his old crew. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews, Jet Li.
Release Date: Aug 13, 2010
Rated: strong action and bloody violence throughout, and for some language
Runtime: 1 hr. 43 min.
Sylvester Stallone wants to revive the ghost of mindless 80’s action flicks, the kind he headlined for years. He’s mostly successful even if in bringing this style of film back with warts and all leaves something to be desired from time to time. Stallone’s direction is generic but single minded and when the action gets hot and heavy its done well without losing focus from the point of the film as a whole. The point being, of course, is to provide lots of bloody carnage replete with bodies exploding, decapitations and bullets with minimal reloading throughout. The cast assembled is of course more than capable to fill the bill. Stallone in the lead role comes off a tad distant and distracted, seemingly more interested in taking in everything he’s brought together and feeling somewhat self satisfied. Needless to say, his acting here is fairly wooden. Jason Statham fairs far better feeling more like the real lead of the film, he comes off the most comfortable of the main cast and he’s good fun throughout. Jet Li is mostly short changed, pun intended, for the most part and what little time he’s given he does well with. Terry Crews has some fun parts popping up here and there throughout the movie. Randy Couture gets a few sections and comes off as wooden but he handles the action well. Mickey Rourke and Dolph Lungren both have small parts that I would have enjoyed to see fleshed out a bit more. Eric Roberts is having a good time laying it on thick as a typical 80’s action movie villain. Don’t expect much more screen time out of Willis and Schwarzenegger than what you see in the trailer even if the exchange is lots of fun. The Expendables delivers exactly what you’d expect and it’s a fun time at the movies, occasionally hitting a few inspired moments of awesomeness.