Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Expendables Review

The Expendables, 2010
Reviewed By: Dan S.
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone
Written By: Sylvester Stallone and David Callaham
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, David Zayas, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, and Mickey Rourke.
Language: English

Keeping thiis mini-epic limited to cliché warehouses and exotic islands, writer/director Sylvester Stallone keeps The Expendables lean and lite while masterfully juggling a giant ensemble cast of convincing middle aged tough guys. While the focus is primarily on the amusing macho banter between Stallone and Statham, everyone is cast to their strengths and at least gets one moment to do their thing and do it well. In more limited roles, Rourke delivers a soulful rambling monologue like only he can while Bruce Willis drops a bunch of F bombs like only he can. As can be expected, Arnold's cameo is short but sweet. Lundgren gets a surprising amount of screen time in a memorable weird performance while Eric Roberts threatens to steal the movie as the arrogant wise cracking villain.

Much like the story, the action is brutish and simple. Don't expect too many complex emotional twists or turns, just the bad guys being dicks, and the heroes blowing them to pieces with large guns in retort. Of course Stallone uses every opportunity to pour on the gore, but it should be noted that while the violence is graphic it is not nearly as mean and nasty as the violence in his last Rambo outing; it's all in good fun this time out. There are also plenty of well staged fight sequences cast to the strengths of the performers; Li and Lundgren work a smart kung fu fight, Statham beats up a gang of obnoxious punks, UFC star Raynd Couture breaks limbs with mixed marital arts holds, while the aging Stallone gets his "ass kicked." Charisma Carpenter has a small well acted part but no 80s throwback nudity this time around.


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