Last weekend, we got a chance to see our favorite childhood action heroes come to life in The Expendables. It’s an hour and a half action packed romp about a group of mercenaries who are hired by a CIA operative to the travel to South America overthrow a tyrant. In the process, the team tries to liberate the dictator’s daughter who helped aid them bring down her father.
The Princess’s Take:
This is a pretty straight forward action flick. Don’t expect any great cinematic achievements or award winning performances – this movie is all about the explosions and epic fights of action hero legends. And really, that is what you came for. And you get it. In spades.
The cast does a great job at doing their thing (kicking butt). The fight sequences are intense and plentiful, although the shaky camera occasionally hurt my eyes and made it difficult for me to keep up with the fights. But I got what I came for. Violence, violence, and more violence.
As someone trying to keep a megalomaniac in check, I definitely could sympathize with the tyrannical general’s daughter, Sandra. It’s a shame she didn’t just try to distract him with the cunning use of Facebook Apps and cookies-n-cream milkshakes. Works like a charm for me.
My only real let down was that Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger only make the briefest of cameos in the film. But the barbed dialogue during the scene is quite enjoyable. I also wish that the rest of the cast, especially Jet Li, could have been a bit more prominently featured.
Overall, I’ve seen better, but I’ve also seen worse. But if you’re a 1980’s action movie buff, it’s a must. It may not be exactly as epic as you would like it to be, but the nostalgia factor is well worth the price of admission.
3 ½ out of 5 stars
The Warlock’s Take:
A great popcorn movie with enough action to sate your bloodlust for the evening. You should go in knowing that it’s a Stallone and Statham movie with a lot of great cameos, and probably not the ensemble piece you had in your head. Be that as it may, it’s still a fun ride and worth seeing if you are looking for an action packed afternoon.
For the fights Jason Statham steals the show, with honorable mentions to Dolph Lundgren and Stone Cold. Jet Li’s limited action was disappointing but he does help to showcase the others. With any cast this large screen time is always going to be an issue, but this movie does handle it better than most of the contrived Hollywood all-star line ups that came before it.
On the villain’s side, no great masterminds or inspirational schemes we haven’t seen a hundred times already, but Stone Cold does play a great enforcer, and shows all the right qualities a starting or even established warlock should look for in a right hand minion.
By the end of the day, there’s nothing in the movie you didn’t already know was there, except a bit real acting by Rourke, and Willis, but still enough action to keep you entertained throughout, even if you can never really go back to your childhood.
3 ½ out of 5 Stars