Sly Stallone (Sly Stallone) leads a merry band of mercenaries taking out various rebellious forces across the globe. Amongst the ranks are Jason Statham (Jason Statham), Dolph Lundgrum (Dolph Lundgrum) and Mickey Rourke (Mickey Rourke). Stallone is asked by the mysterious Bruce WIllis (Bruce WIllis) to overthrow a brutal dictator, who is being sponsored by Eric Roberts (Eric Roberts) the ex-CIA agent. Then everything either blows up or loses a limb for the next hour.
You know if you’re going to enjoy this film. No amount of reviews by this little blog, or any other media outlets, will persuade you otherwise. It’s full of brash camera angles, lots of posturing and homo-erotic man hugs that you remember 80’s movies having.
There’s a temptation to say that this is a nostalgia film. Not in the same way as The Artist; where Michel Hazanavicius emulated the look and feel of a bygone era and said ‘look! Remember how wonderful those days were!’. No, despite the cock rock and country soundtrack, the snappy oneliners and the distinct lack of plot, there’s no indication to suggest that Stallone and company are doing anything other than their day jobs. In fact, EBFS imagines a look of confusion would attempt to penetrate Stallone’s plastic surgery, if you commended him on his ironic nostalgia trip back to 1985. Then he’d snap your neck. Probably.
There are a couple weak spots. The first is minor and easily ignored; a horrific dialogue between Stallone and rival mercenary, Arnold Schwarzenegger (The man who abolished gay marriage in California), is merely auto-eroticism before the unsatisfactory ejaculation of a presidential joke. The second weak spot is harder to ignore as it’s streak of piss runs through the film from beginning to end. It’s name is Jason Statham. Having Statham in The Expendables makes you realise how much the 21st century needs its own action hero, and how much a man most famous for being in Kelly Brook will never be that hero.
The Expendables is less than two hours of guilty pleasures. From the first punch thrown to the last head rolling across the ground, EBFS had a massive grin on its face the size of one of Stallone’s bicep. It’s shame that for all it’s bravado, the sequel to The Expendables appears to be being neutered by the machinations of Chuck Norris and the desire to get more bums on seats. Still, we’ll always have the lacerations and dubious racial stereotypes of this, the original.