The Expendables Review (2.5 of 5) with some SPOILERS…
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILERALERT! Just a few spoilers in this, even though it’s probably not going to spoil anything for you. This movie isn’t the most unpredictable film ever made. Anyway, I’ve warned you.
One one level I enjoyed the Expendables; it was EXACTLY what I thought it was going to be: a movie relying on the collective star power of the actors involved for the film’s success than an actual good story…. There are a few laughs and each actor gets their ‘moment’. That’s fine, but it still feels like Stallone, who ‘cowrote’ the movie, didn’t really try too hard to come up with a story worth having the group together. I know this was just a money grab for Sly and the others involved (just ask Stallone), but if you’re going to make an action movie with all of these action stars, why not try to make a good film?
There’s plenty of action sequences, not necessarily well thought out, just stuff blowing up. There were scenes I guess I was expecting things to be even more ‘over the top’ than they were. I think There were far too many storylines that never added up to anything, also. Charisma Carpenter’s storyline especially. I like Carpenter, but her part was as cliched as anything I’ve recently seen. She plays Statham’s girlfriend, but when he returns after a long absence (and without a phone call) she’s with another guy. Of course she’s still in love with him and of course the boyfriend beats her up for being so and of course Statham finds out and tracks the guy down so as to have a fight with him and 12 other guys. And this had nothing to do with the film, really. The movie wasn’t about these 2. Just needed to fill some time I guess.
Jet Li gets the worst in the film. I thought they could have written his character to be taken a little bit more serious. As it is, he’s kind of the team joke. The fight between he and Lundgren… well you can see for yourself. I also thought it was a mistake to give Lundgren maybe the hardest ‘acting’ part in the film playing a junkie in the film. He doesn’t do it very well. Rourke also does a little bit of ‘acting’ in the film also, and while believable (he is a good actor), I get the idea he told Stallone he’d be in it as long as he didn’t have to get up from his chair and move around too much.
The thing that aggravated me though, was the tag line of the film: “Together for the first… and the last time.” With the movie’s title and that tagline, I was expecting a whole lot more dying from the Expendables. A WHOLE lot more. But… before I even saw the film (which was the day it was released), I read that Stallone was already writing the sequel… So I feel like I had been lied to. the movie confirmed that. the only ones that die are the bad guys. Eric Roberts. You knew he was going to die being one of the villains and all. Stone Cold Steve Austin? Yeah, he was Roberts’ underling, so yeah, that was obvious… But the rest of the Expendables…. Nope. And it’s not even really that tough of a mission for them.
So I feel like I was lied to. Does that mean that I won’t see the sequel? No. Sadly, I’ll probably be first in line… Maybe Stallone can get Michael Bay to direct the next one. That would mean the movie would be populated with more hot chicks and the explosions will be even bigger ….