The Expendables stars and is written by Sylvester Stallone, not a name one usually associates with writing so perhaps it’s for the best that he has co written it with Dave Callaham.
Sylvester Stallone stars as Barney Ross, the leader of a team of fighters and mercenaries who call themselves “The Expendables” as they frequently expect not to survive their highly dangerous missions. And this is their most dangerous mission yet, they are sent by a man calling himself Mr Churchto wipe out the dictator of a South American island, a ruthless murderer in his own right who’s people live in a state of constant fear and oppression.
However, when they reach their destination and encounter a local rebel, Sandra, they discover that they have not been given the full story of what is happening on the island and Barney must make a choice as to whether to walk away or stay and fight, attempting a mission that seems like suicide but which might just lead to his own spiritual redemption.
The Expendables is an absolute joy to watch, largely because of the roll call of acting talent that director (he did a lot of work on this movie, didn’t he!) Stallone has assembled. Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren (Stallone’s old Nemesis from the Rocky films) and the gloriously eye rolling and intense Eric Roberts all jostle for attention while Giselle Itie does an astonishing job of managing to make an impression in this sea of stars as Sandra who provides Barney with something of a moral compass.
The action scenes, of which there are many, are as beautifully shot as you would expect. It’s high octane, fast moving, funny and hugely entertaining, though anyone looking for deeply meaningful scripting or realistically drawn characters really should go else where, this film does exactly what it says on the tin and nothing else.
The plot, such as it is is hardly original either but who cares, watch it and revel in these stars of the 80s doing what they do best…kicking ass!
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Writers: Dave Callaham (screenplay), Sylvester Stallone (screenplay)
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, David Zayas, Giselle Itié, Charisma Carpenter