The Expendables is a throwback to classic action flicks
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, and Eric Roberts. Rated 18A.
Once they hit their seventh decade, most men slow down or retire. Sylvester Stallone, on the other hand, followed successful cappers to the Rambo and Rocky series by writing, directing, and starring in The Expendables, a throwback action flick that seems poised to spawn its own franchise.
Watch the trailer for The Expendables.
Given its vast cast, The Expendables is like one of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s movies but with the casinos, twists, and martinis replaced by C-4, decapitations, and roundhouse kicks to the face. Instead of debonair types, we get the super-rugged Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Randy Couture, and Terry Crews.
Guiding them is Stallone as mercenary leader Barney Ross. We see him lead the Expendables (a for-profit black-ops unit) through a rescue operation involving Somali pirates. It’s not all fun and exploding heads for Barney, who has to deal with a personnel crisis that costs him the services of long-time member Gunnar (Dolph Lundgren).
Because Barney is better at shooting people than doing HR, the emotionally devastated Gunnar defects to the bad side, represented here by Eric Roberts and his own troupe of Type A nasties led by human pit bull Steve Austin. This creates troubles for the Expendables when the two forces collide on a South American island, one side trying to overthrow a junta, the other trying to preserve order.
Barney is not even interested in the country, having turned down a rich contract (offered by Bruce Willis) to operate there, and returns only to rescue his nice contact (Giselle Itié), who happens to be the daughter of the junta leader.
And the story is itself only an excuse to stage one-on-one battles: Li versus Lundgren, Couture versus Austin, Stallone versus normal aging”¦ To my way of thinking, these are fights in which everyone wins.