What do you get when you take a handful of action movie heroes from the last three decades, add a couple professional wrestlers, a martial artists master, an ex NFL Line Backer turned actor, two notoriously creepy film bad guys, and a whole lot of guns? You get “The Expendables.”
Now I’ll admit – The Expendables is not a plot heavy film. And it won’t ruin it if I give you the basics: As the leader of a crew of mercenaries, Barney Ross (Stallone) is approached by the mysterious “Mr Church” (Willis) about a job. It seems that Mr. Church and the people he works for want Ross and his team to remove a dictator from power in a small island country in the Caribbean. The fact that Mr. Church most likely works for the CIA makes Ross very cautious, so he and one of his team (Statham) fly down and enter the county under cover to check out the situation for themselves. After meeting up with their island contact they discover that the big trouble is really a rogue CIA agent turned drug kingpin (Eric Roberts). When their cover story gets blown all hell breaks loose and they race to get off the island alive, bringing their contact out with them. But of course she refuses to leave at the last minute. They manage to get out in a blaze of bullets and explosions worthy of any good action flick. But once back in the US, Stallone’s conscious gets to him and he decides to go back himself and bring his contact out. And in true action hero movie style his whole team decides to come along to watch his back.
I warned you – not the most amazing plot. But who goes to an Action film for the plot? You really go for the fight scenes, the car chases, and the explosions. And The Expendables has those. LOTS of those. And the fact that most of these guys are middle aged or older, makes the fight sequences even more impressive.
Special effects technology has improved greatly since the action films of the 80′s and the special effects in this movie were great. And as much as I hate to admit it, I replayed a few of the gun fight scenes just to watch the special effects a second time. Gross, but very well done. They managed to have a very high bad-guy-death-count while showing a surprisingly small amount of blood. And there was some pretty impressive editing and camera work as well, especially in the pickup truck chase sequence.
And while you could predict how the movie would end from the very beginning (guess who wins) the ending was well done, and definitely a set up for a sequel (which is due out in 2012). But it was lots of fun for a stormy Sunday afternoon. If you’re an action movie fan, and you didn’t have to Google more than two of the stars names, you’ll like this one.