Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Expendables

a review by Russell Pinkston

Years in the making....this movie brings together many of the greatest action stars from the 80's and 90's as well as some of the ones from now.
Sylvester Stallone heads up....as well as directs (and he is very underated as as director) this impressive allstar cast as Barney Ross....the leader of a band of mercenaries who are hired by the mysterious Mr. Church (Bruce Willis in a very small role) to overthrow the dictatorship of a crooked government.   Joining Stallone are Jason Statham, Jet Li, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, and Dolph Lundgren....who has probably the best written and deepest character of them all if you don't count Mickey Rourke who plays the groups tattoo artist....WTF?  He has one of those teary eyed moments.
Eric Roberts plays the main bad guy who is pulling all the strings and making General Gaza (Dexter's David Zayas...who I got to seen at Comic Con in person at the Skyline panel!) do what he wants.   Wrestler "Stone Cold" Steve Austin plays Eric Roberts's main muscle and enforcer.  Giselle ItiĆ© plays Sandra a local who the group have to return to rescue.
This is a movie that doesn't waste time with a story or character development.....and it really doesn't matter.   One is just happy to see all that awesomeness up on the big screen together in one movie.  While it could have had one or two more people.....Steven Seagal and  Danny Trejo couldn't do the movie because they were already attached to Machete (made off the awesome Grindhouse trailer) but Jean Claude Van Damme turned Stallone down because of character development....WHAT?!   As if all his direct to dvd movies had that great of character development.   I think Van Damme missed out on an opportunity to do main stream movies again.  Maybe he'll change his mind for part 2.
This movie waste little time getting to the action although it does have some slow talking parts in the middle but in all there are blood spattering explosions, gunfights and excellent fights (one in which led to Steve Austin actually breaking Stallone's neck in really life....talk about dedication to your craft!). 
I would have like it more had there been a better story and character development but with so many acters there was so little time for that stuff.   Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger having the smallest and almost unimportant role.....as if they were just added as an after thought....let's just attach two more big names to the billing.  I hope in part two they will bigger roles.
So since this has some of my all time favorite action stars I will list some of my favorite movies by each star.
Sylvester Stallone:  First Blood I and II, Assassins, Cobra and Demolition Man
Jason Statham:  Snatch, Transporter 1, 2, 3 and The Italian Job
Jet Li:  Lethal Weapon 4 and Unleashed
Dolph Lundgren:  Rocky IV, Showdown in Little Tokyo, Army of One and Silent Trigger
Mickey Rourke:  The Rainmaker, Sin City and The Wrestler
Eric Roberts: Best of the Best 1 and 2
Randy Couture:  Redbelt
Steve Austin:  ah.....The Condemned?
Terry Crews:  The Expendables....he really is one of the standouts in this movie....him and his big ass gun!
Arnold Schwarzenegger:   Terminator 1, 2 and 3, Commando, Predator, and True Lies (one of my top 10 alltime favorite movies)
Bruce Willis:  Die Hard (my #1 favorite movie), Armagedden (my #2 favorite movie), The Sixth Sense, Pulp Fiction, Color of Night, Look Who's Talking 1 and 2, Nobody's Fool, The Jackal, Four Rooms, The Whole Nine Yards and Lucky Number Slevin
I give The Expendables 3 1/2 action stars (Jet Li...being the half :)

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