The Expendables

Jean-Claude Van Damme, Wesley Snipes and Steven Seagal were all offered a role in the film but ultimately turned it down for various reasons.

The Expendables is any action fan's dream come true. Imagine a film with practically every action hero from the past and present such as Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Terry Crews, and Mickey Rourke. Sounds like an awesome, testosterone filled, explosion of a film, doesn't it?

While you'll probably just want to see these guys kick some ass, there is a plot involved. Barney Ross (Stallone) leads a elite group of renegade soldiers on a deadly mission to South America to overthrow a powerful and unruly dictator. Once they begin their mission, they find out that things far more sinister are going on and that they are the only ones who can put an end to it.

The film is reminiscent of the action flicks of the early 90's. It features awesome fight scenes, huge explosions, and some ridiculous/unbelievable stunts. Bullets will fly, knives will decapitate, and people will literally explode, mostly thanks to Terry Crews' monster of a shotgun. It's all about destruction and big booms, as it should be.

Unfortunately, what I described was the last third of the film. To get to all the intense action, you're going to have to sit through some pretty mediocre acting and plot. People who go to this film don't want to see a dialogue between Stallone and Rourke about women and morals. They want to see fists flying and veins popping. Okay, so maybe not the veins part but that comes as a packaged deal with Stallone.

There are a few beefed up sequences through the course of the film that will put a smile on your face though. Yes, Bruce Willis and the Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, have a brief scene with Stallone and it is just as awesome as you would imagine. While there is no physical fighting involved, words will fly and egos will be tested. 

What makes the film work is the sheer variety in all the action. Jet Li brings his martial arts, Steve Austin and Randy Couture bring their wresting moves, and Statham is quite skilled with a blade. It's basically a showoff performance to see who is the biggest and baddest of them all.

The Expendables surprisingly doesn't have as much action as I was hoping for but that doesn't get in the way of it being an explosion of bullets and blood. Action junkies will be pleased with the way things turn out. Just don't go in expecting much from the storyline.

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Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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