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The Expendables

2010 film directed by Sylvester Stallone

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Sylvester Stallone Writes a Love Letter to Any Fan of Action that's Ever Lived

  • Sep 27, 2010
Rating:
+4

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 many men do you bring with you?” Sylvester Stallone-”Just your mom.” Maybe you didn’t laugh at that, but maybe you chuckled in your head. Now imagine the Old Spice Odor Blocker Body Wash guy dressed in all black mowing down a ton of thunder brigade soldiers with the biggest shotgun you’ve ever seen, afterwards screaming to his teammates “Don’t ya’ll forget ‘dat at Christmas!”. If that is what you would define as “awesome”, then The Expendables is just the film you’ve been looking for as if you couldn’t already guess. The Expendables is macho energy piled on macho energy that provides for a film experience that may not be the sharpest knife in the gallery, but it’s a film with a cast like no other that couldn’t be assembled by anyone but Sylvester Stallone, the godfather of action films, and boy does he put the emphasis on the action.

The film follows a group of mercenaries, and as you might have guessed, they’re called The Expendables. After a former CIA operative has went rogue and taken control of an elite drug operation, it’s up to the Expendables, who by no means are afraid to get their hands dirty, to go under the radar and clean up the mess. In case you’ve missed the blatant nature of the posters, television spots, and the diamond-studded trailers, this film is built on its cast. Sylvester Stallone, being the writer and director as well, leads the way with his completely incoherent dialect (I think Dolph hit him too hard in Rocky 3), and considering he’s 64 years old only makes it that more amazing that he could kill any other cast member with his bare hands. Jet Li has some pretty great moments and seems like he’s the only member of the team that knows martial arts, and UFC Fighter Randy Couture has his moment in the sun as well. Mickey Rourke pops in occasionally in an odd feeling southern accent considering we heard him 3 months ago indistinguishably as a Russian, and the modern day action super star Jason Statham pulls the main emotional arc of the movie. Eric Roberts plays the cheesy 80s action villain like it was his second nature, and one of my favorites Stone Cold Steve Austin kicked some considerable tail. My favorite though by the end of the film though remained Terry Crews as the humorous “Hale Ceasar”, who comes off terrifying when he’s wielding a gun that’s even bigger than him.  A cast like this only comes around once in a blue moon, and Stallone makes full use of it. It’s almost like that time in Who Framed Roger Rabbit when you see Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse together, only Stallone could bring all the modern day action stars under one roof in the name of kicking butt and taking names. The action in the film takes full advantage of the R rating. There are some huge action shots you’d have to see to believe. Blood shoots in multiple directions, bodies get broken in half, people burn, bones are very visibly broken, it’s everything you could ask for. Stallone proves he’s a master of his craft with shots of action that left my theater in utter disbelief that almost put us into an awesome-induced coma. Hand-to-hand, gun play, larger than life airplane fights and firefights with hundreds of men, it’s all second nature, just like breathing to Stallone and his crew in front of and behind the camera. It’s like a giant Christmas present to fans that grew up with First Blood, Rocky, Die Hard, or even now with UFC or just the folks that like the Old Spice commercials. It’s not really something I can explain, it’s just something any action fan should witness in a crowded room of other action fans.

If there’s something I could complain about, it’s Stallone’s odd choices of camera angles in the film. My film nerd over powered by 10 year old self long enough to notice he gets some odd close ups to some of the actor’s faces during exposition. We get it Mickey Rourke has more gaps in his face than the Grand Canyon, we got it Stallone. Also, although it was less of a problem than it could have been, the film’s action pieces suffer a little bit from disorient-ia, shaking and moving back and forth a little too much to tell exactly what’s going on 100% of the time. One of my favorite aspects of the film is, as if you couldn’t tell from the poster, its machismo flair. I came close to using the term “B Movie”, but by no means when you have Stallone and Willis in the same room do you use that term without having your spine removed. There were moments I just laughed at the macho-ness of situations (there’s a lot of scenes of “guy talk” in the expendables’ own “man cave” which turns out to be a garage), and of course they have all of their own bikes, tattoos with the skull/raven combo, and their own flipping war plane that acts as their own steroid-induced mystery machine. This film couldn’t play major league baseball mainly b/c it couldn’t pass a drug test, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.



It harkens back to the simpler times of action movies where it is just as simple as “here’s the bad guy, here’s the romance, here’s the cheesy dialogue,  here’s the awesome finale with the good guy/bad guy showdown”, and there’s not a problem with that. Even though I sort of wished the story could have been a little more complicated than it was and fleshed out just a tad bit more, there’s not much wrong with a straight-forward action movie that gives fans exactly what they want. Also, just in case you were wondering, the Bruce Willis/Governator cameo is one of the best scenes in the film. It has a one liner that had our theater in hysterics, and getting to see ol’ Schwarzenegger emerge through those doors, the light shining around him, the way Stallone knows that you know that moment is so unbelievably awesome, brought me back to my child hood as he looked almost exactly like he did in Terminator 2. Just think, you get to see Rambo, John McClane, and The Terminator all in one room. The Expendables is a super easy film to recommend. If you like the trailer, you’ll love the film. If you wanna see any person that’s ever been in an action film lately beat up South American guys, this is the film for you. If you wanna see Rocky and Ivan Drago team up with the Old Spice Guy and the Transporter, pay the $8.75 and see by far one of the most satisfying action films that brings me back to my days of being a ten year old, even though my dad would never have let me watched this at ten years old.

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More The Expendables reviews
review by . August 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A Glowing TRIBUTE To ACTION Heroes And Action Movies!!
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, …
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 …
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.
About the reviewer
Jake Wilbanks ()
Ranked #158
   My name's Jake, I write film reviews and the occasional music/video game/comic/tech review. I've been involved in journalism over the past 3 years, and am currently majoring in Journalism … more
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Wiki

  • 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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    Tags

    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

    Details

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