In saying that we think The Expendables should school even the newbies to this genre to the classic styles of all our favorite heroes.
The cast list is a veritable smörgåsbord of action’s greatest hits. Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Steve Austin and cameos from Bruce Willis and The Governator himself Arnie… dear god the movie execs must have messed themselves when this one got pitched.
But the question that everyone will have is …. does it deliver? …… yes… yes it does.
Based around a rag tag collection of “Expendable” mercenaries, the film follows this group of talented warriors as they take on jobs that no one wants to tackle… not even the governator… When faced with what seems like another hard job in a small island the team starts to discover that honor, friendship and humanity runs much deeper than one would expect. Add great fight scenes, big explosions and even bigger weapons and you have yourself an action movie classic.
Hell, some of the explosions would have even made Michael Bay wet his pants – this film was pure old school action written by someone who had just sculled 25 Red Bull shots. Stallone may be showing his age in some aspects of life, but as an action film director, he’s found a new calling.
But what surprised me is that the action wasn’t the only thing that made this movie. The dialog between the characters was inspired. Clearly these guys had a ball of a time making this film and the writers held nothing back, producing some very classic moments of dialog (even playing on the competitive natures each action heroes past)
The Expendables certainly re-defines the term action/comedy. Stallone seems to nail the balance of action vs comedy by have too much of both – not that you can have too much of both. The scene with Bruce, Arnie and Stallone is worth the price of admission alone.
Even more satisfying was the fact that each member of the team was able to fight in their own styles (the credits pay tribute to Jet Li’s fighting team for instance) which really does bring a large range of action sequences to the table, without the need for repetition.
And the comedy rides alongside each guys fighting style – especially with the banter between Statham and Stallone, and even more so with Stallone’s ability to laugh at himself.
This is a fun action movie.
This is a wet-your-pants-laughing action movie. It’s like being held by Stalone whilst Jason Statham and Jet Li take turns to kick you in the face, but in an enjoyable way. It’s the action movie of the year. Period.