The Expendables

Release Date: August 13, 2010

We're guessing that these two might be..expendable.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
12/12 Les Winan Unrelentingly terrible. A movie this ridiculous should at least wink at the audience. At a minimum, it shouldn't take itself so seriously.
20/190 Max Braden Building on a huge explosive action sequence a third of the way in, they caught the 80s action tone perfectly in this movie.
101/123 David Mumpower I honestly believe that you, the reader, could have made a better movie with this cast than Stallone did.

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How manly is The Expendables? The Expendables is like a urinal cake in the shape of a naked woman hanging from the rear-view mirror of an El Camino. That's how manly The Expendables is.

Sort of an Ocean's Eleven, but for your MGD-swilling brother-in-law who won't stop doing imitations of Achmed the Dead Terrorist during family picnics, The Expendables has assembled a nearly jaw-dropping cast of genre action stars. The stars are so big, they're only listed by last name on the poster: Stallone. Statham. Li. Lundgren. Couture (?). Austin. Crews (??). And Rourke. And that's not even mentioning the cameos by Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger! Did you know that the producers of The Expendables had a machine installed that would instantly vaporize anyone with two X chromosomes who got within 500 yards of the set? Fact!

This is Sylvester Stallone's writing/directing/acting follow-up to his surprisingly entertaining Rambo and Rocky sequels. He's like a meathead Clint Eastwood (is meathead an offensive term? I promise I mean it endearingly). The story involves a group of (manly!) mercenaries who are hired to overthrow a South American dictator. Led by Stallone's cynical, misanthropic Barney Ross, the group finds the mission to be more complicated than initially thought, and with a traitor among them. This looks to be another film where a Stallone character uncovers his humanity while killing lots and lots of people. Wipe away that tear, soldier! Men don't cry!

Box office-wise, the question here is whether having all of the B-list action stars is any better than merely having one. If these guys can open a movie in the $15 million range by themselves, it's tempting to think that this could be a monster hit when you multiply that by six or so. But the problem is that these guys all have the same audience. I suspect that the people who paid to see Rambo, The Transporter, and Kiss of the Dragon are more or less the same people.

On the plus side, I do think that the scene with Schwarzenegger, Stallone, and Willis will get a lot of press, which might translate to butts in the seats. And if ever there was a movie designed to do gangbusters overseas, it's The Expendables. Translation not even required!

I don't think you necessarily have to be a fan of awful beer/racist puppet humor to get a charge out of seeing all of these guys together on the big screen (though it certainly couldn't hurt). There's something about Stallone that brings out the meathead in us all. (Shane Jenkins/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Expendables
Main Cast Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li
Supporting Cast Randy Couture, Dolph Lungdren, Mickey Rourke, Forest Whitaker, Ben Kingsley, Eric Roberts, Steve Austin, David Zayas, Giselle Itie, Charisma Carpenter, Gary Daniels, Terry Crews
Director Sylvester Stallone
Screenwriter David Callaham, Sylvester Stallone
Distributor Lionsgate
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 103 minutes
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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