Saturday, 21 August 2010

Film Review: THE EXPENDABLES (2010)

Co-Writer/Director: Sylvester Stallone
Running time: 103 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

UK Release date: 19th August 2010

Watched at the cinema Saturday 21st August 2010.


As a male of the species I am not averse to the odd action movie, they’re (usually) not too taxing on the brain, there’s lots of explosions, and, if we’re lucky, there’s a pretty girl to be rescued. Well, ‘The Expendables’ ticks all those boxes and more. With cameo’s from both Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger this was one I really wasn’t gonna miss. But here’s a bit about the plot before I tell you my thoughts.

The Expendables are a group of mercenaries led by Barney Ross who are hired by a Mr Church to assassinate the dictator of the small island state of Vilena. Whilst staking out the job, Ross and his associate, Lee Christmas, meet a rebel leader called Sandra, who just happens to be the daughter of the island’s dictator, General Garza. Just to add a bit more to the mix, the General is being helped by a rogue CIA agent, James Munroe, ably assisted by his henchman, Paine. The two men leave the island in a hail of bullets leaving Sandra behind. She is captured and tortured by Munroe but The Expendables are on their way to the rescue. There is a lot more to the plot, but I don’t want to give too much away.

The action sequences were all very well done and very gory. There were plenty of explosions and stunts that, again, were all very nicely pulled off. I guess the thing that let this film down the most was the dialogue. It seemed to get a bit bogged down at times when you just want them to get on with the action. And the final third of the film has plenty of that! Decent performances though from all of the major cast, so honourable mentions go to Sylvester Stallone as Barney Ross, Jason Statham as Lee Christmas, Jet Li as Ying Yang, Dolph Lundgren as Gunner Jensen, Eric Roberts as James Munroe, Randy Couture as Toll Road, Steve Austin as Paine, David Zayas as General Garza and Giselle ItiƩ as Sandra.

I really wanted to like this movie, but ended up slightly disappointed. Even a decent soundtrack, ending with ‘The Boys are Back in Town’ by Thin Lizzy couldn’t make up for its lack of depth. Stallone has produced some great films in the past but unfortunately this one just falls short of the mark. I feel I’m being a little generous with my score, but the action sequences were very good and I can’t forget that. So, if you like a lot of explosions, a damsel in distress and a crack mercenary team coming to the rescue, then this one is most definitely recommended. Otherwise… maybe not.

My score: 5.8/10

IMDb Site:
Official Site: (USA)
Official Site: (UK)

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