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The Expendables

2010 film directed by Sylvester Stallone

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A Glowing TRIBUTE To ACTION Heroes And Action Movies!!

  • Aug 13, 2010
Remember the good ol’ 80’s and the 90’s when action movies that channeled unreasonable amounts of male testosterone ran rampant in the Multiplexes? Well, if you’re a fan of those movies, you will definitely DIG writer/director Sylvester Stallone’s “THE EXPENDABLES”. It is a film that boasts of a cast made of several action stars and pays homage to the action heroes and movies that gave us the entertainment that seemed all but forgotten in this age of remakes, pretty people and petty comedies. Like those movies, “The Expendables” has a flimsy storyline, humongous plot holes and TONS of action….forget about the movies’ flaws, “The Expendables” isn’t a film but it is a ride.

An elite group of mercenaries called the “Expendable” led by Barney Ross (Stallone) does the job quickly, efficiently, and if you want to make a statement then they are the ones to call. They do the job with the least amount of hassle so when a certain “Mr. Church” (Bruce Willis) comes along with an attractive offer, the team mulls over the mission of overthrowing a corrupt government in a small South American country, being controlled by an ex-CIA operative, James Monroe (Eric Roberts). After a close call, Ross becomes inspired by one woman’s (Giselle Itie) act of bravery as she has chosen to stay and fight the injustices of her homeland. Now the entire team made up of Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) and Toll Road (Randy Couture) returns to take down the forces of James Monroe that includes former “Expendable” Gunner (Dolph Lundgren) and his top man Paine (Stone Cold Steve Austin)…

                Eric Roberts and Stone Cold Steve Austin in "The Expendables."

              Jason Statham as Lee Christmas, Sylvester Stallone as Barney Ross and Randy Couture as Toll Road in "The Expendables."

“The Expendables” is exactly what anyone can expect from a no-nonsense, testoterone-driven action film directed by Stallone. It is absolutely a “Hoot” and is a glowing tribute to the loud action films made a decade or so ago. The characterization in the film is rather low, the characters are caricatures and carry the trappings of the 80’s action films and makes it a part of its charm. I do have to admit the film knows what it is about and channels it through and through, it isn’t pretentious; it isn’t a groundbreaking piece of cinematic achievement, but it sure does what wants to do real well: explosions, fights, gunplay, cheesy dialogue and clever one-liners and then gives you a lot more of the same.

Not that the movie doesn’t try to have heart, it does try to express the dilemma of being a “Black Ops” operative and it is at its very heart a ‘buddy flick’. Brotherhood and friendship is at the movie’s core and the plot devices revolve around this. There is some drama, but it is the testosterone-driven kind that just makes the movie cool. The characters do have personality; Li is the silent, humble type, Statham is the knife expert and Stallone is the gunslinger (liked their exchanges), Couture is the explosives expert, Crews is the weapons specialist and Austin is the creepy bad guy--.I also enjoyed the limited appearance of Mickey Rourke. I do appreciate the direction brought forth by Stallone as he manages to find a balance with all the bad-ass cast members that has been assembled.

              Jet Li as Yin Yang, Dolph Lundgren as Gunnar Jensen, Sylvester Stallone as Barney Ross in "The Expendables."

            Sylvester Stallone as Barney Ross and Giselle Itie as Sandra in "The Expendables."

           Jet Li as Yin Yang in "The Expendables."

Stallone manages to find the tone and finds the necessary ‘glue’ to make all the devices mesh well but it isn‘t perfect (since I sure wished that Couture had more screen time). The direction channels that wild adrenaline rush that can keep its viewer entertained. I was a little put off with the use ‘shaky cam’ in most of its major action scenes; it does give a wild sensation of a fast-paced environment. I did notice that the wit and banter was rather unsteady, that some exchanges should’ve been better. I loved Jet Li’s defense of “short folks” but some of the banters were a little too much. (This is not a negative comment but just an observation)

For a movie that is so predictable, it does manage to inject some unpredictability its scenes. The direction does get its head on right as it gives us lot of energetic momentum as we see a lot of action excitement. There’s Jet Li vs. Dolph Lundgren (a classic “David vs. Goliath“), Stone Cold vs. Stallone, Couture vs. Stone Cold; the results aren’t as predictable as one may think. Statham has a lot of time slashing and dicing his opponents and even Gary Daniels and Schwarzenegger makes appearances. “The Expendables” has a lot of bang, and quite a few bone-crushing fist fights--heck, it even has a good dose of blood and gore. It also has some sexiness brought forth by Charisma Carpenter and Giselle Itie; the film is 100% “Guy flick”.

Stallone has a good eye for excessive adrenaline-pumping direction and if you judge “The Expendables” for what it is, then it is quite successful. The film is a blessed, explosive display of bullets, crushing bones, explosions and sheer machismo that does it quite well. It is an obscenely violent, rowdy, tough and Stallone is successful in avoiding its extremes turning into ‘camp’. It is a display of brutal action and gives off a magical entertaining tribute to the bruisers of action filmmaking. Stallone’s film is a little rough around the edges but it does what it sets out to do; deafen our ears and overwhelm the senses with ACTION entertainment…THE “BOYS” ARE BACK IN TOWN!

Recommended! [3 ½ Out of 5 Stars]

A Glowing TRIBUTE To ACTION Heroes And Action Movies!! A Glowing TRIBUTE To ACTION Heroes And Action Movies!!

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September 02, 2010
Glad you wrote this review; my husband was curious about the movie and I looked you up to see if you had reviewed it yet; sounds like my hubbie will love this one!! Maybe me too, I like a little action every once in a while LOL Thanks for the great review Woo---
September 04, 2010
I do think you'll have fun with it, Brenda! enjoy....
August 15, 2010
Yeah man you said it right, this is more of a ride than a film. i loved this flick and may drop a review, maybe this and Batman Under the Red Hood.
August 16, 2010
cool! I will look forward to them. Don't leave me alone with the only RED HOOD review in this community... :)
August 15, 2010
Nope, not for me. I like heroes who are defined by their intellect and their principal, not by their muscles and ammunition. All of these guys have done some good work on their own, but teaming up like this just seems ridiculously gimmicky. If I wanted to see Stallone and Schwarzenegger in a film together, I'd want to see them as nemeses duking it out.
August 15, 2010
ha-hah. I knew you were going to say that. This is gimmicky but at least it wasn't pretentious. Schwazenegger looked real old in this movie. I guess being Governator stressed him out. "He wants to be president." LOL...that was a funny line in the movie.
August 15, 2010
Not so funny when you consider that there's a real truth behind it. I'd prefer President Eastwood.
August 15, 2010
that is true. God...I can just imagine Eastwood talking like his character in Dirty Harry LOL!
August 15, 2010
I see it now: "Make my day... vote for Eastwood!"
August 16, 2010
imagine if Megan Fox ran for Governor... LOL!
August 16, 2010
That would be enough of a reason for me to move to Canada.
August 19, 2010
I know. Now the good people there can once again eat ice cream in public thanks to him.
August 14, 2010
Hey, was I alone in noticing that Mickey Rourke still didn't change his Iron Man 2 hair for this movie, or is that what his real hair looks like now, black with white strings in it?
August 15, 2010
I know. I noticed. Rourke looked like his Iron Man 2 character. I guess he liked the look and Stallone probably liked it too.
August 14, 2010
Thanks for the great review Woopak. This is the second glowing review I heard of this film today and I heard it is in the fashion of the old Golen Globus action films. The cast itself makes it a must see (kind of an It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World of action stars).
August 15, 2010
That is a great comment! You fully got what the movie is all about. Thanks, Michael!
August 16, 2010
Thanks Woopak!
August 14, 2010
Sheesh, did you catch the midnight screening or something? :P This movie sounds really intense and that's rad that Stallone is in it playing what he's good at playing!
August 15, 2010
I actually saw it Thursday night at 8:30 but I was just too tired to write a review after. Yup, Stallone is at home when it comes to roles like this.
August 13, 2010
This creature should be making "Twilight" mow it's lawn and pay it a dollar an hour because it sucks. The Expendables rules. I think I liked it a little more then you did. That or my hair is still being blown back after leaving the theater.
August 13, 2010
LOL! I liked this one but I bet you did like it more than I did...this was loud, wildly delicious! I'll be right by to check out your review.
More The Expendables reviews
review by . September 16, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
* out of ****    "The Expendables" is, simply put, a missed opportunity. I really do dig what Sylvester Stallone, operating from both ends of the camera as co-writer/director and star, is trying to do by bringing together a few of the action genre's biggest stars from now-and-then and putting them all in one movie; but his reach can't even be said to exceed his grasp, because there honestly isn't enough ambition in this picture for me to even admire it in such regards. While …
review by . August 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
For a while I've gotten tired of the "new" guard of action movies.  Usually too stylized with little guys running around.  Too much bullet time and taking themselves so seriously.  Stallone knew what worked in the 80s of headbanging, gun barrel melting fun and he transplants that here perfectly.  The fact that these guys have a name like "Expendable" somehow meaning that they could be thrown away is a crime to waste such gusto and cool.      …
review by . November 14, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
There was a time when you could rely on a bad action film to at least supply you with action. "The Expendables," which is said to be an homage to the guy films of the 1980s and 1990s, doesn't give you action so much as a blur of images chopped together so badly, you can barely revel in the violence they're meant to depict. What's the point in creating scene after scene of shootings and stabbings and explosions when the camera doesn't linger long enough on the aftermath? …
review by . November 15, 2010
This movie is exactly what I wanted it to be. A bunch of out dated eighties stars killing brown and black people. The worst thing that could have happened to this movie is if it became a social commentary. That is probably the only bullet that gets dodged in this one.      Sly Stallone co-wrote, directs, and stars in a movie about mercenaries for hire. Their newest mission is to stop a South American dictator with a connection to drugs and the CIA, holy god even the headline …
review by . September 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   Stop me if you’ve  heard this joke. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mickey Rourke, Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger all walked into a bar, and they decided to make a movie about it. The bloody, testosterone-fueled macho child of a film is the punchline. To test and see if you would like this film, examine this piece of dialogue, directly quoted from the film. Steve Austin-”How …
Quick Tip by . August 16, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
My son saw it and said it was real good. Looking forward to finding some time to get to this. Haven't seen a really good action flick like this since Inglorius Basterds.
Quick Tip by . August 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Packed with some of the best action stars, The Expendables runs on explosions, fight scenes and the pure thrill of action. If you want a good time with a wonderful cast, action and humor, then this one is for you.
Quick Tip by . August 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Rip roaring action adventure in the old 80's sense. Keeps going, rarely lets up and takes everyones names.
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William ()
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  • The Expendables is a 2010 American ensemble action film written by David Callaham and Sylvester Stallone, and directed by Stallone. The film follows a group of elite mercenaries, charged with a mission to overthrow a Latin American dictator. The film is an homage to the blockbuster action films of the 1980s and early 1990s, and stars an array of action veterans from those decades, including Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger (the latter two in cameo roles), as well as more recent stars such as Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, and Steve Austin.
  • They might be expendable, but they sure are durable:The Expendablesis crammed with well-traveled action heroes, called to a summit meeting here to capture some of that good old ultraviolent '80s-movie feel. Star-director Sylvester Stallone rides herd as the leader of this mercenary band, which includes Jason Statham, Jet Li, and Stallone's oldRocky Vnemesis Dolph Lundgren. Mickey Rourke, looking like a car wreck on Highway 61, plays the tattoo artist who communicates the gang's assignments to Stallone; throw in Terry Crews and Ultimate Fighting champ Randy Couture, and you've got a badass crew indeed. The specifics here involve a Latin American island where US interests have mucked up the local politics beyond repair--but when Sly's eye is caught by the feisty ...
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    Movies, Action Movies, Action, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, Randy Couture, Eric Roberts, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Senyo Amoaku, David Zayas, Gary Daniels, Steve Austin, Amin Joseph


    Director: Sylvester Stallone
    Genre: Action, Adventure
    Release Date: August 13th, 2010
    MPAA Rating: R
    Runtime: 103 mins
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