Summary: A group of mercenaries is hired to take out a corrupt ex-CIA agent who financially backs a military dictator on a small Spanish island
Plot (B): The plot of this film is extremely straight-forward. There are no hidden agendas or meanings. What I liked about the film and its plot was that it didn't pretend to be something it wasn't. This was a action flick to the core. Was it Stallone's best film in terms of writing? No. But it was entertaining and that's what's important. All in all it’s a good action flick.
Action (A): Obviously, this is where the heart of film laid. From start to finish there was a variety of action. Typically, most action films tend to stick with one type fighting style whether it’s gun shoot-outs, hand to hand combat, or sword fighting. In The Expendables you get a strong balance of it all such as: awesome hand to hand/ martial arts fight, amazing kills with blades, and various deaths using guns. The deaths scenes were creative and in some cases explosive. I really appreciated the variety of action in this film because it kept me interested and on my toes.
Acting & Dialogue (B-): For me this was the weakest part of the film but I’m not saying it was horrible. The acting was good but I did feel that some of dialogue was a bit cheesy at moments. However, it’s clearly evident that this film is not meant to be about the dialogue but more about the events taking place. The Expendables practically hosts every action star from the 80’s to today, which was a real treat especially if you grew up in the 80’s. Stallone’s character was not all brawn and no brains. There was a combination of both which added depth to him. Even though Stallone played one of the main characters he did make sure to not dominate the film. He allowed everyone to have time to shine. I really liked Jason Statham in this movie. He played his character with a sense of calmness and coolness, which worked well when teamed up with Stallone’s. I also really enjoyed Dolph Lundgren’s character even though his screen time was minimal. His character represented the civil disunity that can occur among mercenaries even if they are all close friends. I believe that aspect may have spoken some truth about real mercenaries and that you can never fully trust each other. On a complete side note, it should be known that Lundgren is an utter genius. He has a Master’s in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney and speaks seven languages. Nice job Drago! The films antagonist was played by Eric Roberts, the ex-CIA agent. What Roberts’ lacks in physical presence he makes up with attitude and charisma. His character was smart, deceitful, greedy, and just plain bad. Roberts illustrated those traits well much like he did in The Dark Knight.
Sex Appeal: N/A
Director (B): Say what you want about Sylvester Stallone but that guy is talented and I don’t think enough people give him credit. His scripts are well written and structured. His directing abilities are strong enough that he can balance giving suggestions and commands to others while focusing on other aspects of the film. Most of all he’s vision orientated and smart. He knows what he wants and understands how to achieve it in a manner, which audiences will like. Towards the end of them film I made connection and while its unofficial it makes sense. I think Stallone named The Expendables from Rambo: First Blood Part II. During that film there’s a part where Rambo’s Vietnamese contact asked him why they picked him for the mission. He simply responded that he was expendable and his life didn’t really matter. As I said, this isn’t his best work but it was good enough for me and kept me entertained.