The Expendables (or Grouchy Old Men)

Its safe to say, by sitting through Sylvester Stallone’s “The Expendables”, you have abandoned hopes of high art. Its also safe to say, that this movie is being viewed by those of us who really miss the days of gratuitous violence perpetrated by actors who missed out on theatre training,  but have muscles on top of their muscles.

Its the story of a bunch of mercenaries who are hired to help out a small village from a tyrannical general, complete with nasty henchmen types, and an even nastier American type, possibly ex-CIA, who is helping fund the general’s evil-doings. Cue muscular types coming to the rescue with BFG’s(Big Fu…well you can guess the rest).

Yes, we’re back to the 80′s with Sly’s hom(o)age to the good old days of sweaty male bonding, with throwaway quips to accompany the exquisite deaths, set to pounding electric guitar riffs.  The concept here is, he’s managed to bring back with him some of the old crew, even if they are relegated to the smallest of cameo roles (the much touted Schwarzenegger/Willis roles amount to less than 4 minutes of screen time!).  Even with reliable action-eers as Dolph Lundgren and Jet Li, plus relative newbies Randy Couture and Steve ‘Stone Cold’ Austin(WWE duuuudes) this is still pretty much Sly’s show, the now 60+ star showing the young ‘uns how its done-leaping, fighting and  almost getting the girl-no mean feat considering he’s up against the real new kid (in this company), and the real star of the movie-Jason Statham. The Stath has already cut his teeth in action movies-whatever your opinion of his Transporter trilogy, there’s no denying the guy has got the moves and deserves a shot at a bigger movie. He is easily the funniest character and the closest we get to a relatable character in the movie, and even if he’s not the greatest actor,  its his presence  we miss when not on screen.

So. Is The Expendables a good film? Well in all honestly, not really, but the joy of it lies in the fact that it always seems to be revelling in its unlikeliness, none of the cast involved seem to be taking it too seriously and the fact that a sequel is already in motion tells you that despite its apparent awfulness, you cant help walking out with a bit of a grin on your face. Or am I really just nostalgic for the 80′s……….

Steve Waites

By Steve on September 5, 2010

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3 Comments » RSS Comment Feed

  1. A thoroughly absorbing review of a thoroughly absorbing film and thanks to this review I wont have to see it until its out on video. Then I’ll book it at Normanby Videoscope! On Betamax. Good work mr Waites!

    Comment by Benjamin — September 6, 2010 @ 7:44 pm

  2. Ha! Normanby Videoscope-had forgotten about that place!!! thanks for the post “Benjamin”

    Comment by Steve — September 7, 2010 @ 10:33 am

  3. Good review, have been deliberating over whether to see this film for a while now, will have to pop along this week, but not until I’ve took my daughter to see Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue watch this space for an in-depth review.

    Comment by The Great Edmundo — September 9, 2010 @ 7:56 pm

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