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Movie Review: The Expendables

Saturday, August 14, 2010
I managed to somehow see the new movie The Expendables on opening day here in St. Johns. The movie was solid 100% fun; I enjoyed it thoroughly.

This movie enjoyed quite a bit of hype as it went through production due to its action star cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, and Jet Li lead the billing, while Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Terry Crews, and Eric Roberts fill out an amazing supporting cast. Finally, even Bruce Willis and (Governor) Arnold Schwarzenegger show up for a great cameo scene.

great poster, thanks for hosting it!

The gist of the plot is there's a group of tight-knit mercenaries who end up taking a job to oust an island drug-cartel dictator and his American financier. That's it. There's a few moments of romantic tension in there, but generally it's a large group of amazing actions stars - both past and present - showing up and making an excellent action film.

The Expendables succeeds because it doesn't try to be more than it is. There's no complicated drama, no conflicted characters; this is a solid action movie written by Sylvester Stallone who, I'm sure we can all agree, knows his way around action films. The Expendables also succeeds because it takes an ensemble cast and, with a few rare exceptions, doesn't try to make the movie about the individual actors or characters, but about a team and a scenario. I feel like I've come to expect that, in a movie like this, each actor has a specified number of on-screen minutes in their contract. If this was the case in The Expendables, it certainly didn't feel like it. Finally, The Expendables succeeds because it doesn't take itself too seriously. The movie gently pokes fun at some of the stereotypes that the actors themselves have helped build, while still perpetuating them.

Final word on The Expendables? If you're in the mood for an honest-to-goodness pure, fun action film, don't miss it.

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