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The Expendables
7 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Sylvester Stallone

Written By:
Sylvester Stallone

Cast:
Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, David Zayas, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brittany Murphy, Gary Daniels, Hank Amos, Amin Joseph, Aaron Aguilera, Alexander Asefa, Johann Benét, Denise Blasor, Ross Francis, Gino Galento, Topher Jones, Jade Michael LaFont, David Joseph Martinez, Ravi Shankar, John Smith, Paul Vasquez, Van White, James Hébert, Ace LeBleu, James Logan, Charisma Carpenter, Giselle Itié, Lauren Jones, Michael August, John Baran, James Logan, Jonathan Nogueira, Luiz Henrique Nogueira, Marcio Rosario, Senyo Amoaku, Don Cano, Rytik Rangroo, Tze Yep

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The Expendables (2010)
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Movie Review by Filmkiller
August 16th, 2010

The Unapologetics

Favorite Movie Quote: "Next time I'll deflate all your balls."

Unapologetic is the watchword. Check your delicate sensibilities, vaginas, diplomacy, character developement, gender equality, and fancy CG FX at the door; The Expendables isn't watched with a bucket of popcorn, Junior Mints, and a Coke, but a slab of salted raw ground beef, a tin of Viagra, and a shot of antifreeze.

Barney Ross (Sly) heads up a team of mercenaries who, according to Tool (Mickey Rourke), used to fight for something. The costs are voiced with Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren, THAT'S A HUGE B*TCH!) apparently suffering from some sort of addiction that we never see - which is surprising since we're already wallowing in an R-rating - and Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), whose lady-friend Lacy (Charisma Carpenter) finds a more present mate during Mr. Christmas' frequent absences. Ying Yang - I didn't stutter, but they don't play it up - (Jet Li), Hale Caeser (Terry Crews), and Toll Road (Randy Couture) don't get anything to do really but be Asian, Black, and a Wrestler.

In the role of the moustache twirling villain (sans moustache) subjugating the once shangrila-ish third world sh*thole is rogue CIA man Munroe (Eric Roberts) with his meat-henchmen "Paine" - unapologetic - (Steve Austin) and The Brit (Gary Daniels). The role of the regretful CIA puppet goes to General Garza (David Zayas) father of spunky sassafrass Sandra (Giselle Itie) - the 'strong' female character - the muse of violence who opposes violence (that promptly gets someone killed) and she makes sure to wiggle and grunt as she is toted like a sack of wheat from place to place so you know how much she disapproves, Buster!

I can't in good conscience rate the Expendables as anything better than a guilty pleasure movie, especially when it didn't even do a lot of its action as well as it could have. Don't get me wrong, a few of the action sequences are good and nearly all seem well conceived, but the camera is so close to the action and the cuts are so frenetic that I lost track at one point of who was fighting who and had to just ride the wave. The logistics of the climax are also equally hazy as the characters are milling about trying to cut one another off and cover each other. I had no idea what anyone's position was in relationship to one another and again was just riding the wave; this makes for less tension as I'm just waiting for the film to slow down enough so my narrative GPS can lock on again.

So that's the guilty. Where the pleasure comes from is the fact that it's refreshing to see a little - okay, a lot of - unapologetic violence in this age of guilty free-love hippie "it's not okay to kill people that are trying to kill you" crap. Those soldiers were shooting AK-47s at you. Why not swing the plane around on your way out of Dodge, drop some fuel on them, and shoot a flare-gun back to ignite it? It's the Grim Reaper's version of the middle finger. You want to shoot a gun at someone? Consider there may be consequences. It's also infectious to be in the presence of someone having a great time, and Stallone at least is clearly so happy that it bleeds into the other actors and off the screen. I'm also pleased to see certain actors find a place when Hollywood is only too quick to chew them up and spit them out.

I don't mind all the elements of the Expendables that likely offend the average movie-goer - or at least are 'supposed' to offend the average movie-goer - I just wish the film had been better written and the action had been shot a little better; there's room in today's cinema for this kind of film (clearly, with a $35.7 million opening) and actually I would like to see a sequel. It wasn't the best made movie, but I appreciated what it was trying to do and I was entertained.

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