Action Movie Fanatix Review: The Expendables

Action Movie Fanatix review banner for The Expendables

Choose Your Weapon.

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eric Roberts, David Zayas, Steve Austin, Gary Daniels, Charisma Carpenter, Giselle Itie, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

Director: Sylvester Stallone

2010  |  103 Minutes  |  Rated R

“Gunner! What are you doing?” – Barney Ross
“Hanging a pirate!” – Gunner Jensen

Synopsis:
The group of mercenaries known as The Expendables – Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Toll Road (Randy Couture), Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) and Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren) – are hired to assassinate an island dictator.  Once there, they realize the island conflict goes a little deeper than they had initially anticipated.


When The Expendables first arrived in theaters in 2010, it excited action fans around the globe.  I was downright giddy when it finally hit the theater and it didn’t disappoint.  I don’t have any clue why it took me so long to get around to reviewing it.

Many men on a mission type action movies tend to favor one or two badasses over the rest.  Not so with The Expendables.  Every single Expendable and bad guy gets their moment to shine.  Even “second rate” goons like Steve Austin and Gary Daniels are made to look like legitimate threats to The Expendables.  None of the characters are SUPER deep or anything but they are all made to be unique and entertaining in their own right.  The lone exception is Mickey Rourke’s Tool.  His brief scene makes him the heart of the team.  They also happened to hit on a lot of the right notes for me in terms of supporting cast with the inclusion of former pro wrestlers and MMA fighters.

When I got my new surround sound setup can you guess what the first thing I watched was?  What was the first scene I used to “test” it out?  My father in law uses the opening scene of Top Gun.  My own father uses the entire The Blue Brothers movie.  One of my buddies uses the lobby scene from The Matrix.  I opted for the dock scene from The Expendables.  It isn’t exactly a spectacular sounding scene.  I just thought it would be a great test since it is such an awesome scene in general.  It did not disappoint.

And that was just one action scene.  There are quite a few more, culminating with a nice long bad guys vs. good guys soiree that allows every single cast member a chance to take and give a few hits.

One of the few flaws of The Expendables is the sometimes crappy CGI.  It’s most notable in a couple of the explosions and the blood spray.  It seems like CGI blood spatter is getting better but in 2010, crap CGI blood was at its height and The Expendables didn’t cut any corners in the crap CGI blood department.

The Expendables was exactly what I was hoping for when it was initially announced.  It’s chock-full of some of the best action stars of all time as well as some really great action scenes.  In a way it felt like an ode to the past, present and future of the genre.

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