19 Aug 2010

The Expendables

The Expendables, is described by many as the action movie to end all action movies. Marketing itself like some kind of Milk tray selection box aimed directly at men. With a cast including some real heavyweights both cinematically and literally joining an aging Stallone as his merry band of mercenaries we’re presented with an all or nothing mission to save a stereotypical South American Island from a formulaic dictator.

And that’s about it as far as the plot is concerned, there are a couple of attempts to throw in a little romance and back story but it amounts to no more than another excuse for the film’s stars to flex their substantial muscles. However anyone going into this movie expecting anything other than just pure testosterone smeared onto a cinema screen was obviously born well after the 1980’s and grew up without the alpha male heroes or Rocky, He-Man and Rambo.

Overflowing with his usual penchant for guns, tattoos and an abundance of misplaced one liners Stallones key selling point for this action-by-numbers mess is its ensemble cast, a blockbuster line up including brief cameos from big hitters Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. However take away the big names and your left with not much more than the sort of bargain bin straight to DVD film you'd expect to find in some no-name service station starring Steven Seagal or Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Indeed it's a shame when so many promising ingredients are added to the pot that a combination of overblown sound effects, fast paced editing, and bo-tox educed mumbling makes it difficult to follow what plot there is, but this is just nit picking, The expendables does what it sets out to do, and was never going to be the sort of film that you'd need to read a review off to get a grasp of what it’s all about.

Stallone has yet again brought the action genre kicking and screaming into the 21st century with a death per second count that make Rambo 4 look like Shrek. Indeed what the Expendables lacks in story, script and acting in makes up for in abundance with violence and masculinity that will no doubt leave some exhilarated, but the rest of us not only immune to the barrage of bullets and punches but feeling something much more powerful, disappointment.

Now in his mid sixties you’d surely think The Expendables is Slys last roll of the dice regarding the genre, however there are rumours of a sequel, so perhaps like his character in The Expendables, (and come to think about it, most of his movies) he’s just a man who won’t quit.

Patrick-James Gamble

Director: Sylvester StalloneStarring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren,