So Wheezley and I went to see The Expendables this weekend. This action movie has tons of stars in it — Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Stone Cold Steve Auston, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Eric Roberts, Mickey Rourke. If you like action movies, this is pretty much your dream cast. There are even cameos by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis.
Basically, the story is this: Sly is the head of a mercenary crew that goes around the world and does things like rescue hostages. Sly and his crew are approached by Bruce Willis to go down to the island of Vilena and take out a general who has seized power. Sly and Jason Statham go down to recon the island, and they meet Sandra, the general’s daughter who is working against her father. Before you can say action movie, Sly and Jason run afoul of the general’s troops and have to escape. But Sandra stays behind, and Sly can’t stop thinking that he should go back and try to help her. So he and the boys saddle up and head back down to Vilena to take on Eric Roberts, who’s made the general his little puppet.
What happens from there? Stuff blows up. Seriously. I don’t know how big the sets were for this movie, but if there’s anything left of them besides charred, matchstick-size pieces, then I’d be shocked.
This movie was a lot of fun. I think it’s really, really cool that Sly got so many action stars together in one movie. I wish they made more movies like this where it’s all a big collaboration, and everyone gets a moment or two to shine.
Let me just say, though, that the years have not been kind to some of these guys. Willis still looks good, but Sly, Arnold, and Mickey aren’t looking so hot. But you know what? The lines on their faces and their world-weary attitudes worked well for this movie.
This movie is all about the action. Sly has his guns, Jason and Mickey have their knives, Jet has his quick fists, and Terry Crews has a very loud automatic shotgun, among other things. There are several cool action sequences in this one, leading up to an explosive finale — literally. I cannot stress enough how much stuff blows up at the end of this movie. The good guys are quirky and heroic, and the bad guys are totally eeevil.
My only little quibble is that I would have liked the action scenes to be shot a little wider so I could actually see the guys fight, instead of just their fists slamming into each others’ faces.
Overall, this one was just bloody, violent, action-packed fun. I hope they make a sequel because I’d love to see all these guys together again.
My grade: B.
Quotable lines: There are several. I especially liked Jet Li’s riff on how he needed more money because he was smaller than the other guys.
Would I watch this movie again: Sure. I’d catch it again on cable, and I’d go to the theater to watch a sequel.