The Expendables delivers bucketloads of gunfights, explosions and kungfu showdowns and even more awesome one-liners but ultimately, it is a cut from the rest by being old-school.
The movie has since been hit with mixed reviews since its release in America on 13 August. Critics complained of weak acting and typical one-liner moments amidst scenes of mindless, impossible violence. They also scoffed at the movie for having weak character development and zero plot.
But the thing is, the epic action movies of the 80s were all about awesome, unbeliavable moments that were the epitome of coolness.
With regards to character development; the movie isn’t suppose to be about growth or reconciliation (although there are more than a few minutes dedicated to analysing the problems of a long-distance relationship and the power of regret), its supposed to be simple and clean cut, about being a man and doing the right thing despite the odds.
Those of you who think one-liners are lame and something meant to be thrown around to seem macho are going to be in for a treat. The one-liners spouted in The Expendables are definitive of what one-liners are supposed to be; witty, dry and the kind of humour that slid under your skin like a hypodermic needle. Truth to told, even the ladies were laughing in the cinema that night.
If there is any real flaw in the bloody poetry that is The Expendables, it is the fact that some of the characters did not get enough screentime to give the actors justice. Jet Li’s character was portrayed as a stereotypical money-loving, Chinese martial artist, while Lungren’s character was depicted as a typical red-neck soldier who gets high on violence.
On the plus side, Stallone’s character is fleshed out as a mercenary who is dead inside yet trying to retain his humanity, while Stratham’s is a soldier of fortune trying to mantain some semblance of normality in his life.
All in all, The Expendables is a pretty good movie, and is a must see if you’re a fan of old-school action movies. 4/5