As a kid, I was mesmerised by Schwarzenegger, Lundgren, Austin and Stallone. As a teenager, I was entertained by Statham and Li. As an adult, I had my eyes opened by Willis and Rourke. And I rolled my eyes whenever Crews and Couture showed up in a film.
Once I heard the teensiest of whispers about this project I knew it wasn’t going to disappoint – and it didn’t. I knew perfectly well this would have an awful, if any, script. I knew the acting was going to pretty much resemble a bunch of action figures in stop motion. And I also knew the action was going to be kickass.
Stallone mentioned, in an interview, his intention to bring back the glory days of action movies – where the actors came with real muscle, not needing the CGI that allowed Tobey MacGuire to masquerade as Spiderman. He also wanted to hand the torch down to the younger generation of action heroes. And he succeeded. The script was terrible, the acting was worse now that I’m watching these men as a grownup, the lines were cheesy as hell especially in the scene with Schwarzenegger and Willis. And the action was badass. Not to mention Mickey Rourke’s acting, which was pretty much the only thing an intellectual person could appreciate from this show. But just like his character was central to both the Expendables team and as a tool (nevermind that happens to be the name of his character as well) to drive the story, his performance was the centre of a speedball of testosterone, one where the Lundgrens and Stallones came together seamlessly with the Coutures and Stathams with no sign at all of their vast age gap.
The Expendables is, to me, one of the movie highlights of 2010. It’s not going to match up with the more “complete” shows like Inception and Prince Of Persia, but it’s a stand-out on its own. These are the guys who wrote the textbooks, and they’re showing everyone how to kick ass all over again, for ol’ times’ sake.
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Producers: Avi Lerner, Kevin King Templeton & John Thompson
Screenwriters: Sylvester Stallone & David Callaham
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke