The Expendables is a straight up action movie directed by Sylvester Stallone (who also stars) where he brings together an ensemble of male action stars and do what they do best – kill each other while making stuff explode.
Jason Statham has the most character development of everyone in the movie, but even his back story is nothing special. However, the simplicity of his character somehow made me like him even more. Jet Li provides some good action scenes, and even has some funny lines which made me laugh.
Randy Couture and Terry Crews don’t do much for most of the film, but towards the end perform some cool stuff that makes them as memorable as the rest. Mickey Rourke plays a tatoo artist who no longer goes out on missions with the team, and there is a scene where he delivers a monologue which reveals more about his character. At first I was thinking why is he talking so much, but when he finished I wanted to stand up and applaud.
Dolph Lundgren is a familiar face among the older movie crowd. His role in this film is simple yet interesting and there is a fight between him and [Spoiler!] that is worth whatever you paid. Eric Roberts plays the main villain in this film, who has more than a few fun cheesy one-liners. Steve Austin follows him around as a bodyguard character, and he deals out the punches with the full tough-guy attitude of the wrestler he is.
And then there’s the much-anticipated scene in which Stallone meets up with Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fans of either dude will get a nostalgic kick from their cameos, and it leaves you wanting a sequel with them included. Gisele Itie and Charisma Carpenter are the love interests of Stallone and Statham respectively, and they serve no real purpose other than to further the plot.
The Expendables delivers what it promised and sometimes even surprises you with more. I initially assumed that most of the big names were there just for the sake of being there, but most of them had their own time to shine and everyone fitted nicely into the story. The action gets a little tiresome towards the end, but The Expendables is no doubt a solid action movie.