Stallone’s EXPENDABLES is action-packed film that should not to be taken seriously

With this year being the latest summer to offer some disappointing sequels and remakes, it is nice to have a fresh breath of air in term of originality as Sylvester Stallone and an all-star cast of action stars from the past three decades comes together in The Expendables.
Barney Ross (Stallone) is the leader of a group of freelance mercenaries that are available for the most dangerous missions if the price is right. Barney and his team are hired to take down General Gaza (David Zayas), a ruthless dictator of the small island country of Vilena. However, it is revealed ex-CIA operative James Monroe (Eric Roberts) and his henchman Paine (Steve Austin) are actually controlling the actions of the dictator. Ross accepts the mission, but not because of the money, but to save a beautiful woman (Giselle Itie) from an impending death sentence.
The script, which was written by Stallone and David Callaham, flesh out their characters with some personality traits that make each men different. The script is not perfect as there are moments in the movie where some of the dialogue is laughable. There is a great not-to-be-missed scene where Stallone, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger are on screen together for the first time as they break each other chops and try to one-up each other.
As he is aiming reclaim his throne as of king of the action stars at the age of 64, Stallone plays another badass character who loves what he does, but is in danger of losing his soul. Jason Statham is great as his Ross’ second-in-command Lee Christmas, a man who likes to work with knives. It is also nice to see both Stallone and Statham create on-screen chemistry with one another as they banter and fight together.
The rest of the team members mixes the action stars of old with new and upcoming action stars that features Jet Li as close-combat martial arts expert Ying Yang, Randy Couture as demolitions expert Toll Road, Terry Crews as gun-toting weapons expert Hale Caesar and Dolph Lundgen as the menacing sniper Gunnar Jensen.
People who are planning to watch The Expendables are not watching the movie because of its plot and acting. While the plot is structured simply as a no-holds-barred action flick, the acting is not as bad as you would think.
There one dramatic monologue in the film that seems out of place for a testosterone-driven movie like this, but it is an intense and convincing speech that provides Ross with a motive to rescue a woman. In the scene, Mickey Rourke, who plays the ex-Expendable whose tattoo parlor serves as headquarters and clubhouse for the team, recalls his last mission in Bosnia in which he realized he does not have the compassion to continue as part of the Ross’ team.
The action in the film is a throwback to classic 80s action flicks complete with extremely bloody violence, big guns, big knives and big explosions. The epitome of such is a scene when Stallone and Statham takes out a batch of bad guys using a machine gun embedded in a 1950s Albatross sea-plane.
The fights in the movie have memorable matchup with the actors that includes Hong Kong legend Jet Li taking on Dolph Lundgren in a true David vs. Goliath matchup where Li uses Lundgren’s height against him. As Rocky in Rocky III, Stallone fought legendary pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and in The Expendables, Stallone goes “mano-o-mano” with former WWE wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The result is a fight sequence that is a tough and dirty free-for-all brawl, in which Stallone broke his neck while filming the scene with Austin. Austin also faces another “Expendable” team member played by UFC legend Randy Couture. With both Couture and Austin being a legend in their sport, both WWE and UFC fans should be excited to see both men fight onscreen while surrounded by a ring of fire.
The Expendables is an action film fans’ wet dream complete with the ultimate all-star cast of action stars. The script and dialogue may be lacking intelligence, but enjoy it for what it is: a dumb and fun testosterone-driven movie.

THE EXPENDABLES: 3.5 stars out of 5

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