Thursday, December 23, 2010

DVD--The Expendables

or: Jurassic Park 4: The Fossils Come Back

One word to sum it up: Testosterone-fuelled

I admit, The Expendables wasn't really a movie which I had wanted to see. I mean, gosh, have you seen the cast? It's like Sylvester Stallone has manged to drag up every old man from the deathly hallows of straight-to-DVD-land and put them in this movie. What was he trying to achieve? Maybe a film which would be popular among those crazy kids from the 80's who like old fashioned violence with guys who are a little too old to be even holding a gun? Or maybe a film which would revive some of these old guys failing careers? No, I believe it was more of a film that was advertised as a gnarly actioner with a pretty good cast, so everyone would go and see it. Easy money, when you think about it, because I think Sly forgot to buy a story to go with all the explosions and gunfights.

Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) leads the 'Expendables', a band of highly skilled mercenaries including knife enthusiast Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), martial arts expert Yin Yang (Jet Li), heavy weapons specialist Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), demolitionist Toll Road (Randy Couture) and loose-cannon sniper Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren). When the group is commissioned by the mysterious Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) to assassinate the merciless dictator of a small South American island, Barney and Lee head to the remote locale to scout out their opposition. Once there, they meet with local rebel Sandra (Giselle Itie) and discover the true nature of the conflict engulfing the city. When they escape the island and Sandra stays behind, Ross must choose to either walk away and save his own life - or attempt a suicidal rescue mission that might just save his soul.

Fun fact: Bruce Willis' name appears on the poster advertising The Expendables, but he isn't listed as being credited on the films IMDb page, or in the end credits, for that matter. So does that mean a cameo appearance is eligible for 'lead role status' based on the actors popularity? That is just one of the many questions arisen by The Expendables. Another thing I found on the films IMDb page is how many people have message boarded their love for this film. Now, I have nothing against that, or their opinions, but calling this the 'best action film of all time' is a bit of a stab in the dark. There are a lot of action sequences within this film which are nothing but brainless entertainment. But the way they are handled is less than impressive, and in all honesty, quite tiresome. Once the film gets to it's finale, it feels a little 'meh', even though it's undeniably action-packed.

My mother, who was looking forward to this film way more than I was, wasn't overly impressed by this movie either. I think this is down to a particular group of people. 15-50 year old guys, who watch films purely for brainless fun, will probably really dig this movie. Girls might if they enjoy this type of thing. However, on a critical level, this movie doesn't really give me anything new to rave about. Being a fifteen year old girl certainly didn't help it's case either. I guess, if you like action films, and want to see a less graphic version of Rambo, then The Expendables is definitely for you.

THE VERDICT: Old fashioned action sequences and mullets can't save The Expendables from it's brainless story, but enjoyable thrills almost can.


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