HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
   
 
  Expendables, The They Go Boom
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, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
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 2738 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 star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: