The Expendables

Viewed – 30 January 2010  Blu-ray

Just the idea of this movie was enough to get me excited.  Some of the greatest action stars of the eighties, joined by a few modern action stars, all in the same film?  Where do I buy the ticket?   Now beyond this initial pull, the plot follows tough ass covert mercenaries for hire who are called into assassinate an evil dictator in South America.  Sylvester Stallone catches the eye of a pretty woman though who also happens to be the dictator’s daughter, and soon the mission becomes personal and everybody gets to blow shit up – big time.

Directed by Stallone and with a quite literally heavy weight ensemble cast, there’s no doubting the entertainment possibilities here.  Yet the script is thin, dialogue one big self-referrential nod to the blockbusters of Arnie, Willis and Stallone, and more importantly the action is so mad-cap, loud and over the top, there’s little time left to think.  Which is this movies biggest failing.  As a tribute to the testosterone filled eighties action genre, it copies the formula a little too close for its own good, and often comes off very silly.  Also the big showdowns, between Jet Li & Dolph Lundgren, or Stallone and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin are waisted amongst the rapid editing and overly dark photography – meaning most of the time I couldn’t tell what was going on.  Yet the movie packs a pop-corn wallop, is very violent in places, and rarely dull – but at the end of the day … this remains a missed opportunity.

Verdict: 2 /5

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