The Expendables is a 2010 action film directed by Sylvester Stallone. Along with Stallone, an array of action veterans like Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Gary Daniels, Randy Couture, Jason Statham, Terry Crews, and Steve Austin make up the cast, as well as cameo roles of Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The movie is distributed by Lionsgate.
Plot. The film is about a group of elite-highly trained mercenaries tasked with a mission to overthrow a Latin American dictator. The group is composed of leader Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), former SAS soldier and blades specialist Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), martial artist Yin Yang (Jet Li), sniper Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), weapons specialist Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) and demolitions expert Toll Road (Randy Couture). The movie opens with the team being deployed to the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia to stop local pirates from executing the hostages on a merchant vessel.
Back to New Orleans where they are based, the Expendables are offered a mission by a man called “Mr. Church”. The mission is to overthrow General Garza (David Zayas), a brutal dictator in Vilena, an island in between the Gulf of Mexico and South America. Team leader Ross and Jensen do initial investigation and finds out that Garza is backed by ruthless ex-CIA officer James Monroe (Eric Roberts) and his henchmen Paine (Steve Austin) and The Brit (Gary Daniels). Ross is also caught in a romance with their contact, Sandra, who happens to be Garza’s daughter. Ross decides to abort and causes multiple casualties among the army as they escape, but Sandra refuses to leave.
Later, Ross, Christmas, and Yang deduce that Mr. Church is a member of the CIA and that the real target is Munroe, as the CIA could not kill one of their own by sending in the Army Special Forces or the Navy SEALs. After securing the layout of Garza’s palace, Ross and the Expendables launches a violent against the dictator. The team wins and Ross gives Vilena back to Sandra for her to restore it.
Comment. The Expendables is a total entertainment. It is exciting to watch a great ensemble of great actors from veterans to the young ones. It gives anyone an adrenaline rush from beginning to end as the action never stops. I love the idea that each action star is given time to showcase their action style and moves, though Stallone still holds much of the drama and action. I was just baffled with the cameo roles of Willis and Schwarzenegger, as they were very insignificant.
Though it is very heart-pumping and exhilarating, the movie lacks depth and freshness. If not for the great cast, the film would be just another one of its kind – bloody and shallow. It lacks originality, leaving you with the feeling that you have watched it somewhere and sometime ago.
Still, The Expendables is a movie worth watching.
Rating. I would give the film three out of five stars.