The Expendables (2010) (part 1 of 2)

With The Expendables 2 nearly here, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the first one. I won’t be doing a full recap, but if you want to know my general feelings on the film, here’s an expanded version of the review I posted on my blog.

The Expendables (2010) (part 1 of 2)

For those of you who have not yet experienced the wonder and magic that is this movie, here’s a brief summary.

Sylvester Stallone is Barney Ross, the leader of an elite team of mercenaries hired by a shady CIA man to kill the dictator of a small island, and also his CIA crony, who’s been looking to get into the drug business. Along the way, Ross falls for a young woman who turns out to be the dictator’s daughter, and we get tons of action, explosions, and macho bullshit.

The Expendables is a fun throwback to the sort of film I’ve been covering in my action movie series: Loud, violent, and cheesy as hell. It’s like an ultra-violent episode of The A-Team, and wouldn’t have seemed out of place in a 1985 theater playing on a double bill with some cheesy slasher movie. Heck, if it were made late enough in the ‘80s, there’s a chance we’d still get Eric Roberts as the villain!

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Ed Harris

A fan of less than great cinema since childhood, Ed divides his time between writing scripts, working an actual paying job and subjecting himself willingly to some of the worst films society has produced.

Multi-Part Article: The Expendables (2010)

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  • Cristiona

    I actually liked the middle scene with Rourke.  It was a little out of place, but at the same time, it just fit.  It was almost like Rourke was talking on a meta-level to Sly about his career, giving the old hand advice from an even older hand.  It was weird and bizarre and that made it all the more perfect.

    Also, the interplay between Statham and Sly was freaking perfect.  It’s almost a mirror image of Rourke/Sly, as Statham is (sorta kinda) the next generation’s Stallone (even though he’s hardly new).  Still, the points where they’d talk about thing they’d done in the past together felt organic and real, as opposed to forced.  It really sold their friendship and partnership.  Honestly, the two of them together was worth the price of admission and all the other awesome was just gravy.

    Although I’m personally hoping Crews gets a little more screen time in the sequel.

    • edharris1178

       I like the Rourke scene too, it’s great for the exact reasons you mentioned.

  • Immortan Scott

    The way the fight scenes were edited kinda disappointed me. Not enough to ruin the movie, but still. Hope the sequel turns out good.

  • DrWheelz

    I have only one major complaint about this movie and the next one. These guys went out of their way to include every beloved 80’s action hero, except one.

    Why, oh why, oh why is Mr. T in neither movie? It’s almost unforgivable.

    • Immortan Scott

      Mr. T doesn’t like appearing in violent movies. That’s why he didn’t have a cameo in the A-Team movie.

  • While the scenes with the airplane and the car chases are amazing. It feels like the blood was edited back in. The insane gore of “John Rambo” was simply not there. And the way it was marketed kinda indicated it would be there.

    Now my biggest peeve, the CQB (close quarters bruising) shaky cam. Close Ups. I restrained myself from leaving this otherwise very fun movie. Just pull back the bloody camera and let the action gods. Escpecially Jet Li just have at it. Its poetry in motion if we could bloody see it.

    Then again I might just be getting old >.<

    Last thing, Micky Roark owned every scene he was in. 3 scenes, and I advised people to see this movie just for them. Dude has almost no way to move his face and his acting is spot on.

    Just 2 cents.

  • ElfShotTheFood

    I can hardly remember anything about this movie.  And that’s coming from someone who’s a huge fan of some of the performers in the film. Hell, the cinematic works of Stallone and Schwarzenegger actually inspired me to write several unpublished novels much like The Expendables, so obviously I really wanted to like this going into it. ;)

    • CDiehl

      The main thing I remember about this is Terry Crews’ character obliterating the villain’s troops with an automatic shotgun. I would have named that thing Mjolnir, personally.

      Also, I really wish this movie would turn up on HBO or Showtime. I’m scared they’re going to do what they did with Iron Man and bypass those channels. I hated that and I’ll, hate it if they do the same with The Expendables. I tend not to watch recent movies on basic cable because they edit them.

  • The_Stig

    Yes, it’s a dumb action movie, but that’s the point! It’s supposed to be a throwback to all those big dumb explosionfest action movies of the 80’s, and my God is it glorious. Totally can’t wait for Expendables 2. 

    And if Willis and Schwarzeneggar have bigger roles? TAKE ALL MY MONEY, MR. STALLONE!

  • Clockworkcanary

    I loved Sly’s line, “I just got my ass kicked!” after his encounter with Stone Cold – awesome.

    I’m hoping a 3rd one will come out where we learn Cynthia Rothrock was behind it all!

    • The_Stig

      Yeah, and then Obscurus Lupa’s head would explode.

      • Thomas Stockel

         Heh.  Seriously, it would be great if they do make a third movie if we could see Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh involved somehow.  Heck, could we get Mel Gibson and Danny Glover to do cameos?

  • Immortan Scott

    I am back from the sequel. It was beautiful.

    • edharris1178

       Saw it this morning, pretty damned great.

    • Thomas Stockel

       I liked the sequel, too.  Had one or two surprises there, made me laugh in all the right places.  I heard Jean Claude turned down the first movie because Stallone could not tell him what his role would be, exactly.  If this is true then Van Damme made a wise move in holding out because he plays a great bad guy.

  • Voyager 6

    Not sure if dissing Stallone’s writing has much mileage, given that he wrote the scripts for Rocky and Rocky II, both excellent movies with superb naturalistic performances from Sly.