HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mute
Jungle
Birth of the Dragon
Revenge of the Pink Panther
Thelma
Stratton
February
Taking of Beverly Hills, The
Marjorie Prime
Hotel Salvation
Mangler, The
Shiraz
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
   
 
Newest Articles
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
   
 
  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 1626 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
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  The Elix
Paul Smith
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
   

 

Last Updated: