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MOVIE REVIEW: The Expendables

Have some fun with a bunch of scary guys

The Expendables: Rates a C+.
Courtesy photo

When I hear Sylvester Stallone wrote and directed a movie, I don’t usually have high hopes. He did Rocky Balboa a few years ago, and it wasn’t bad. I even liked Rocky V (no need to bring up the original, as Stallone won an Oscar for best screenplay).

Remember though, Sly also gave us Stayin’ Alive (Did you even know a Saturday Night Fever part two existed? If not, consider yourself lucky.)

Stallone said in an interview that he assembled the toughest guys he knows. Uh…well, Dolph Lundgren and Eric Roberts played good tough guys in the '80s; but at least they fit nicely with Jason Stratham (just his voice scares me), ultimate fighter Randy Couture, former wrestler Steve Austin (who looks scary, but sounds like he’s in the WWF when he starts yelling), Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke (the hair alone scares me), and Jet Li (who doesn’t scare me, but I know he could probably kick my kneecaps pretty hard).

This movie will have Eric Roberts opening a film against his sister Julia – who is probably going to have more success with her Eat Love Pray (after all, Oprah recommended that in her book club).

I read a few critics that commented on how this film would’ve gone straight to video if it had Steven Segal starring in it. Maybe.

This movie is better than most of those gun chase, action adventures. I usually hate those and I had fun with this.

There was a little bit of a bait-and-switch, as the commercials showed Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis talking to Sly about doing this “dangerous job.” They were in a two minute scene and never heard from again.

The film doesn’t get bogged down with details. They’re basically going to a country with a bunch of bad guys (run by someone that is a Hugo Chavez double) and of course, when things get dangerous, they have to return later for the damsel in distress.

If you can keep from laughing at the silly opening that shows them roll up in motorcycles like they’re in a Motley Crue video from the '80s, and get into the groove, you’ll have fun with this summer popcorn flick (well, you might have a few scenes you have to keep from laughing in).

The clichéd scenes are all in here – stud character that can’t remember his gorgeous girlfriends name, guy beating up the boyfriend that abused his ex-girlfriend, vans trapping you at a stoplight so they can riddle your car with bullets…I could go on and on. It’s like a Dirty Dozen crew cut in half, and twice the age (can you believe the bald Statham actually looks the youngest?)

There are some lame scenes, especially the Willis one, which is reminiscent of a scene of his in Pulp Fiction (and a horrible joke about Arnold becoming President); but ya know what? I recently watched the much revered Wild Bunch (from 1969) and it doesn’t hold up as well as you’d think.

This movie doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that makes it a guilty pleasure.

I’m giving it a C+.