EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|EXPENDABLES, THE (director/writer: David Callaham/based on a story by Mr. Callaham; cinematographer: Jeffrey Kimball; editors: Ken Blackwell/Paul Harb; music: Brian Tyler; cast: Sylvester Stallone (Barney Ross), (Lee Christmas), (Yin Yang), Dolph Lundgren (Gunner Jensen), (James Munroe), Randy Couture (Toll Road), Steve Austin (Paine), David Zayas (General Garza), Giselle Itié (Sandra), Charisma Carpenter (Lacy), Gary Daniels (the Brit), Terry Crews (Hale Caesar), (Tool), Bruce Willis (Church); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Avi Lerner/John Thompson/Kevin King Templeton; Lionsgate; 2010); screenwriter:|
passes for an average Stallone film, which doesn't quite make it a good
pic even though it's not exactly a bad pic."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
("Staying Alive"/"Rambo"/"Rocky 2") stars, cowrites with David Callaham and directs this macho
bloodbath blow-em up action B-film, that has a who's who all-star cast
of aging action heroes from the last several decades. Arnold
Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis have cameos, that don't involve them in
action. Of note in this
simplistic escapist formulaic film about mercenary warriors is the male
bonding, the colorful warriors showing off their various fighting
skills and the loading up of the actioner with nostalgia from the good ol' 1980s and its
brand of high body count bang-bang and splat action sequences.
American mercenary leader
Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) proudly proclaims "If the money's right,
we don't care where the job is." With that in mind (which also slyly
explains the reason behind this forgettable commercial film being
gets hired by the mysterious Church (Bruce Willis) to eliminate a well-tailored rogue
ex-CIA agent, James Munroe (),
and his sadistic bodyguard Paine (Steve Austin), who run a profitable
cocaine operation on the South American island nation of Vilena. Munroe
has bought off the despotic country
General Garza (David
Zayas), to help him stop any
opposition and suppress the peasant population.
Barney and, expert knife
thrower, Lee Christmas () meet in Vilena their
contact, Sandra (Giselle
Itié ), the idealistic
reform minded artist daughter of the general, who explains the bad
situation is due to the country's despot working for the American drug
kingpin to the ruination of the country. When attacked by the general's
men, the boys kill around a few hundred of the despot's Latino soldiers
before escaping in their plane. Sandra chooses to remain behind, and as
a result gets captured and tortured.
Back in the States, Barney meets with his tough-guy motorcycle riding
crew in a New Orleans tattoo parlor run by Tool (),
an ex-Expendable member now spending some quality time with sexpot
bimbos, riding his motorcycle, smoking a long-stemmed pipe, perfecting
his tattooing art and refusing to go out on any more missions because
of burnout and not wanting to lose his whole soul.
But when the paternalistic Barney decides to return to Vilena to save
Sandra (showing that's how a father is supposed to behave), he's joined
again by Lee and also by three other gung-ho combat-ready Expendables
(Jet-Li, Terry Crews and Randy Couture). Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren) is turned down because of his drug habit
and high volatility, which Barney says makes him unreliable.
It leads to the fiery climactic half hour siege on Garza's Palacio, where the body count
easily surpasses 200 and just about everything gets blown up.
The dialogue and story stink,
but the action is fast and furious. How the mercenaries take back
Vilena, is as good as the action scenes in Robert Aldrich’s "The Dirty Dozen." If
that's what you are looking for, then this action pic will probably
work for you. It passes for an average Stallone film, which doesn't
quite make it a good pic even though it's not exactly a bad pic.
REVIEWED ON 8/14/2010 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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