HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Night Eats the World, The
War Bus
Back to Berlin
Leave No Trace
They Shall Not Grow Old
Dollman
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Man Who Invented Christmas, The
Tom's Midnight Garden
Lady, Stay Dead
Thieves, The
My Dear Secretary
I Think We're Alone Now
Amazing Colossal Man, The
Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael
Suzanne
Nae Pasaran!
Kiss of the Dragon
Other Side of the Wind, The
Secret Santa
Wolcott
10.000 Km
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
Hitler's Hollywood
Ghost Goes Gear, The
First Purge, The
House of Wax
Mandy
Climax, The
Justice League Dark
   
 
Newest Articles
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
   
 
  Expendables, The They Go BoomBuy this film here.
Year: 2010
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, David Zayas, Giselle Itié, Charisma Carpenter, Gary Daniels, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Amin Joseph, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: A gang of pirates have captured a group of hostages and there are only a handful of men capable of saving them from almost certain death. Led by Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), this top rate fighting force are brought in as mercenaries to do the dirty work that governments do not wish to do themselves, and they're damn good at it as shown by their handling of the pirates, sending them flying in a hail of bullets and knives. The hostages survive, the ransom does not need to be paid, and the mercenaries get away unscathed, with the satisfaction of a profitable job well done...

The cult of the eighties action movie had only grown over the intervening years, with the appreciation of those uncomplicated celebrations of firepower and good old fashioned brawn striking a chord among those who grew up with them and those who came to them later. Whether it was the blockbusters of Rambo or Commando, or the lower budget followers-on of Cannon films, they all enjoyed a loyal audience, so when it was announced that Stallone was going to hark back to those days with The Expendables, there was much salivating at the prospect from those old school action aficionados.

When the film finally arrived, many were keen to let their nostalgia direct their indulgence of the movie, as in the cold light of day it wasn't exactly a triumph as far as the filmmaker's art went, but it did make a lot of money and proved there was an audience for this type of entertainment. And Stallone knew his way around this material, so many felt they were in safe hands as he crowbarred contemporaries Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis into the big exposition scene near the beginning, not that it advanced the plot particularly, but it gave the opportunity to set the stage for the mammoth amounts of macho posturing that were to come. Naturally, those two guys didn't hang around, but lent the production their seal of approval.

The guys that did hang around were no less impressive in their field, although tended more towards the tradition of filling up the shelves of the video rentals rather than appearing in a solid run of blockbusters. Barney's sidekick was Lee Christmas, played by Jason Statham as a representative of the newer breed of action stars, and engaging in the lion's share of the slightly homosexualist banter, as was traditional in these movies. Also along for the ride were Jet Li, although his fight scenes were disappointingly cut too fast so it was difficult to get a sense of how well he was doing, which was doubly a letdown as one of the combat sequences saw him take on Dolph Lundgren, here as a rogue Expendable turned bad.

The actual plot sees our heroes band together to take down a dictator, only to discover that the power behind the throne is none other than dodgy C.I.A. operative Eric Roberts. There were women in this, but they existed mainly to be saved from bully boys, with leading lady Giselle Itié subjected to topical waterboarding torture at one point, a nod to how savvy Stallone thought he was being, conspiracy theories and all. Actually what The Expendables most resembled was not so much those eighties hits, which tended to depict one man going against the system of bad guys and prevailing amidst a barrage of gunshots, but one of those British action movies of the late seventies or early eighties. You know the sort of thing that tried to emulate The Dirty Dozen and ended up with a bunch of ageing stars in The Wild Geese or Escape to Athena - or even Stallone's Escape to Victory? That's what this was like. Not that this was a bad thing, and there were a few amusing moments plus a last act that featured nonstop explosions and gunfire, but you couldn't help wish it had been a shade better. Music by Brian Tyler.

[Lionsgate's DVD has a Stallone commentary, a featurette, a deleted scene and a gag reel as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1816 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
Alexander Taylor
   

 

Last Updated: