The Expendables, Sly Stallone’s all-star mercenary movie, is a deliriously retro ride into Reagan Era blockbusters. The brawn and testosterone (among other bulk-inducing substances) drip off the screen as Sly, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Terry Crews and Randy Couture go out rootin’, tootin’ and shootin’ black-and-brown people in various godforsaken parts of the world.
Nerds have been breathlessly awaiting The Expendables, and the opening sequences will have them drooling – an impressive gunfight between the Expendables and hostage-holding Somalian pirates nears art. But the remaining 90 minutes don’t measure up.
The flight, fight and rescue scenes aren’t cinematically imaginative or fresh and rely too heavily on explosions and fire. These may be the biggest explosions and fires in film, but they don’t amount to much…read more [M&C]
Sylvester Stallone would like to fancy himself an auteur on the order of Clint Eastwood: a director/writer who happens to act and who, eventually, could step behind the camera full-time.
But as The Expendables shows, he is, at best, a journeyman filmmaker. He’s capable of assembling a movie that is mildly coherent, but not one that engages the audience emotionally or intellectually. Instead, it’s all about the big-bang theory: the bigger the bangs (explosions, gunshots, mammoth fireballs), the bigger the box-office. In theory, anyway…read more [Huffington Post]
Americans are both heroes and villains in “The Expendables,” which avoids political specifics while embracing brute force as righteous retribution — and shows the bad guys resorting to waterboarding. It can be an uneasy mix, but mostly it’s played on too broad a scale to take seriously. DP Jeffrey Kimball frames the action for kinetic impact and velocity. The extended fight scenes deliver the easy catharsis of straight-up violence, all with a comic-book sense of pow and splat…read more [THR]
Anyone who’s seen Rambos II, III or IV won’t be surprised to see Sly Stallone again wading overseas (at least this time his destination is fictional – the South American island of Vilena) to dispense a little America, Fuck Yeah! justice.
This time, though, he’s not alone in his ruthless mission, seeking to overthrow ex-CIA operative Eric Roberts’ eeevil dictatorship with the help of Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews and Jet Li. Just call ’em the A-verage Team: no defined characteristics, no fleshed out backstory, no chemistry…read more [Total Film]
For all those hoping that Sylvester Stallone’s much-touted ‘The Expendables’ would be a sardonic, fourth-wall shattering action spectacular that toyed affectionately with the meat-headed conventions of such retrograde 1980s artefacts as ‘Cobra’, ‘Rambo’ and ‘Commando’, well, don’t break out the foam-dome and Whitesnake records just yet…
If ever a test case were required to prove the theory that shit in quote marks is still shit, this is it. ‘The Expendables’ is a sluggish, derivative, witless farrago which is laser-targeted to the nostalgia set and would surely have gone straight to DVD were it not for Stallone’s recent run at the box office with belated sequels to his ‘Rocky’ and ‘Rambo’ franchises…read more [Time Out London]
Stallone is truly awesome and he still looks pretty good considering he’s 64. He carries the movie with his presence and energy for the role and you just can’t not enjoy him in the movie. Stallone however is outshone by Jason Statham who, for me, steals the show with some excellent fights, moves, one-liners and a highly enjoyable performance that may well propel him into the next big action movie star.
The rest of the cast all offer decent performances with no one being particularly out of place or abysmal despite their lack of screen time or acting credits. Jet Li and Lundgren put on a good rivalry although both are underused. Eric Roberts is just a wonderfully textbook evil-in-a-suit bad guy with Steve Austin providing a formidable opponent in his fights towards the end of the film. Mickey Rourke puts in the one solid performance with and was easily the standout in terms of acting, particularly in the key turning point in the film where he spills out his heart to Barney, he has such a cool presence in the movie and it’s a shame he doesn’t feature more…read more [HeyUGuys]
Let’s be clear about a few things right up front. By many – if not most – critical standards, The Expendables is not a good film. If you’re looking for character arcs, Oscar caliber performances, subtle writing and the like, you have come to the wrong place. Likewise, if you are expecting a comic parody of the period that produced Cobra and Commando, you’ve come to the wrong movie. If, however, what you want is a film that could easily have come from that era itself, then bingo! The Expendables is exactly the right ticket, a hugely entertaining – though slightly uneven – ride through the testosterone screen style of the past that avoids (almost) every urge to dip into nostalgia…read more [Twitch Film]
Everyone knows what this film is really all about: it’s about ‘80s throwback action, it’s about face-offs between old-school action heroes, and it’s about lots and lots of death. Death by throwing knife, death by exploding pier, death by blown-up building, death by enormous gun, the list goes on and on. Quite simply, this is a film that is all about producing as many action sequences involving as many classic action heroes as is humanly possible; and to be fair to the film, it delivers just that…read more [Yahoo Movies]
In general, The Expendables is pretty awesome. It’s a great, action B-movie in all it’s glory. I thought Stallone delivered big time on the 80s/90s style action, and that all of the personalities clicked and shined in a well balanced way. The actions scenes were great, the fighting and stunts were insane, and the camera angles were comfortable. Although it dragged in the emotional parts and wasted time on some unnecessary side plots, the movie ends up being what everyone expected: Big actions stars fighting big bad guys, with big fists and big guns. Bring on The Expendables 2!…read more [The Movie Blog]
Opens: Friday, Aug. 13
Lionsgate and Millennium Films present a Nu Image production
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, David Zayas, Giselle Itie, Charisma Carpenter, Gary Daniels, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Screenwriters: David Callaham and Sylvester Stallone
Story by David Callaham
Producers: Avi Lerner, John Thompson, Kevin King Templeton
Music: Brian Tyler
MPAA rating: R, 104 minutes
The Expendables Video Review