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Movie Reviews

The Expendables



Released: August 19th 2010 (UK)

Director: Sylvester Stallone

Stars: Jet Li, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke

Certificate:15 (UK)

Reviewer: Luke Walkley

Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Terry Crews, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The above list effectively sums up the entire premise of The Expendables. Directed by Mr Stallone, The Expendables really does boast ‘the greatest action cast ever assembled’ and promoted it self on that fact.

The Expendables follows a group of mercenaries hired by Mr Church (Willis) to carry out an operation to overthrow a corrupt leader and a rogue CIA agent. While on a scouting mission Barney (Stallone) and Lee Christmas(Statham) find an ally in Sandra (Giselle Itie) the daughter of the islands corrupt leader. The team must return to the island and take down the leader as well as CIA Agent James Munroe (Eric Roberts) who has taken Sandra as a prisoner. Barney (Stallone) now has a personal reason as well as financial to pull the mission off successfully and in doing so save Sandra’s life.

The Expendables was a mouth-watering concept for any action fan. Anybody who was raised on films likeRambo and Die Hard was the target audience. The film knows this and focuses on completely over the top fight scenes, with Stallone and Statham alone taking out forty or so men in the ten minutes from when they step foot on the island. However this is exactly what it was meant to be ridiculous and over-the-top.

The special effects are impressive, several massive set pieces create the back-drop for numerous explosions, there is even a sprinkling of clever cinematography and the island on which the majority of the film is shot is full of beautiful buildings and stunning scenery.

The writers, of which Stallone was one, have attempted to add more substance to the film by adding a love interest/moral dilemma for one of the main characters, however the dialogue is weak and the idea of a relationship between the two concerned is hardly enough for the audience (which at risk of being sexist, while be comprised of almost entirely men) to cheer on their seemingly doomed love. They came for the mindless action The Expendables promised to deliver.

On reflection, the film does offer an abundance of all the things that fans of the genre want. It’s strange however, that it feels that something big is missing. Die Hard has Bruce Willis’ one liners and Rambo had the Eighties style that has helped it stand the test of time in the action department. The Expendables has the cast, but not the charm. The back and forth between the characters is forgettable and there isn’t a defining scene that will be remembered in film history.
While The Expendables is extremely good fun, it certainly fails to blow away the audience.

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