The Expendables (2010)

Sly is in good shape. Just in case you're wondering.

Statham too. But we already knew that from his high speed marathon films (see Crank now if you haven't see it already!!). The expendables story isn't much deeper than what you get from the trailer. It's a bunch of Harley riding mercs that get booked for a job that's dirty and gets them into contrived, cheesy trouble with contrived, cheesy latin amercian soldiers on a contrived and cheesy made up South American island, that is strangely titled after the internet craze of picturing yourself naked with your bum in the air. (Google 'Vilena' and you'll see what I mean.

Yes, granted there's no depth, no real frills, no surprises, a bag of money, and a reasonably helpless damsel in distress. All ingredients for fairly lame action film. And really it should never have been made - if it was someone else that made it. Fortunately Mr Stallone still knows how to entertain. So to understand this 'thing' that he's made, spare a thought for the evolution of the action film during the eighties:

The poor divorced cop in a vest stuck in the Nakatomi building;

The broke kung fu master stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time, probably in the wrong era;

The big black guy with the big black machine gun that always save the day with by blowing everything up;

The emotionally confused ex-soldier that takes mission after deadly mission in the urban jungles of the world to 'find himself';

And the traditionally European backstabbing anti-hero that never dies, no matter how many times you shoot, crash, ram, smack, shoot again and cut him;

Do this and you will start to appreciate what an entertaining and strangely humorous film this is. Don't ask for more, don't peel back the layers. Save that for the French Art-house independent experimentalists at Cannes. Just eat your nachos and pop corn, and sit back and watch every explosion, every fight (yes Lundgren vs Li,  Austin Vs Couture, and Sly vs Austin, Statham vs pretty-much-everyone-in-a-uniform...), every car chase, plane ride, and every macho standoff and let ham be ham.

Keep your expectables low and The Expendables will certainly entertain.




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