42 Screens: The Expendables

Dear 10 Year Old Larry:

The Expendables has everything you want in a movie!

Love Present Day Larry

Ps Watch out for the beehive

Sylvester Stallone returns to the big screen in what he hopes will be a revival of the true action movie genera.  In this high budget, high action film we see Stallone, writer and director, make a film that pays tribute to the blockbuster action films of the 1980s and early ’90s and theirs stars.

One of the biggest draws of the movie is the large cast of character and famous stars that appear in this movie.  Stallone heads of an entire cast of classic action stars including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, and Jet Li, as well as more recent stars such as Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, and Steve Austin.  Then there are the villains and side characters, each with large named actors of their own, Charisma Carpenter, Gary Daniels, Amin Joseph, Senyo Amoaku, Eric Roberts, and Dexter’s own David Zayas.

The movie’s plot is simple.  They are the Expendables, soldier for hire, killers for money and all around mercenaries.  They go where the money takes them, and do whatever is asked.  Their latest mission has them being sent into South America to overthrow a ruthless cold-blooded dictator. But once the mission begins, they discover a plot far more sinister than they were led to believe. With innocent lives in the balance, the Expendables are forced to take on an even more difficult challenge.

The acting is what you come to expect from action films.  The big guys sit around talking about their weapons, naming their guns, and snapping cracks at each other about skill and height.  The big guys face off at each other, nose to nose, snap insults and threats at each other while never blinking, showing fear or losing their cool.  These are the skills developed in action movies.

The deeper acting is left to the side cast, those that rarely pick up a gun.  Eric Roberts, David Zayas and Mickey Rourke hold more lines then most of the remaining cast combined.  Mickey Rourke, playing an aged and retired soldier, steals the show with his tale of his sole chance to redeem his soul and how he ignored it.

Jason Stratham, a man whose acting skill were mad famous internationally with Guy Ritchie’s Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrells, get to show his romantic side  as a man trying to win a girl who wants more from him then he can give, and Bruce Willis as the stone cold CIA agent making threats and promises.

Stallone does an excellent job giving each star his moment to shine and his big battle.  While this seems trivial or the by product of egos, it makes sure that each name on the docket earns the right to be there, and is there for more than simply a name.  Stallone also chooses his fights carefully, adding a degree of humour and real world influence.  We see fights like Randy Couture, a real UFC fighter, versus WWE wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin, or the giant of a man Dolph Lundgren versus the tiny Jet Li.

When you break it down the action is superb, greater than any film we have seen this summer.  It did what Iron man 2 could not, it did what The Losers could not, and it did what The A-Team did, just better.  The Expendable is a high action film with plenty of gunfights, explosions and stunts.

This is the must-see action film of the summer, the personalities click in this old-school testosterone fest making this a Dirty Dozens meets Inglourious Basterds with more to add.

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