Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang YangWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Rambo: First Blood”, “The A-Team”, “Masters Of The Universe”
With a beefy, badass ensemble cast that reads like an international Who's Who of action heroes, the reportedly US$85 million "Expendables" is unusually high in drama and dialogue but low in logic and legacy, despite considering that public expectations for a blockbuster this big will be impossible to meet.
Still, make no mistake, "The Expendables" is rather fun to watch - just like the early "Rambo" flicks. We have Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham fronting a pack of mercenaries played by illustrious stars like Jet Li ("Fearless"), Mickey Rourke ("The Wrestler"), Dolph Lundgren ("Masters Of The Universe"), Terry Crews ("Terminator Salvation") and Randy Couture ("Redbelt"), while even Arnold Schwarzenegger manages a particularly funny brief cameo. The bad guys are fleshed out by Steve Austin ("The Condemned"), Eric Roberts ("Dark Knight"), Gary Daniels ("Tekken") and David Zayas ("Shadowboxing"). Who cares what they do as long as they do it all to each other in the same movie!
Not risking any significant spoilers, suffice to say that any movie review you can read will expound on their roles, since that is obviously the main attraction here. Well, Stallone and Statham develop enough good rapport to make this come off as a standalone buddy movie if there were no others, however predictable roles like Jet Li's (whiny, marginalised Asian fighter) and Eric Roberts' (evil CIA defector) won't win any awards. In fact, some moments in "The Expendables" don't sit in quite well (Rourke's teary monologue as a tattoo artist, who looks like he borrowed from his Whiplash character in "Iron Man 2" and added a womaniser twist to it) while others seem rushed.
The truly satisfying payoff only comes in the last third of the film, where we are taken back to good ol' blow-'em-up finales that guarantee low logic and a high body count.
There's a Hollywood intro here for Brazilian beauty Gisele Itie as the solitary female cast (discounting the sexy Lauren Jones as a biker chick and the late Brittany Murphy, who had no scenes in the final cut) while those who dropped out of the lineup reportedly include Jean-Claude Van Damme, Wesley Snipes, Steven Seagal and even rapper 50 Cent - so imagine how much more crowded this movie could've been!
"The Expendables" won't be a cinema classic anytime soon but is still essential watching despite its flaws, so set your expectations lower and you'll learn to enjoy the film.Cinema Online, 06 August 2010