There's a fun scene early on in The Expendables where director and action movie legend Sylvester Stallone has a conversation with fellow superstars Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Given that these three action icons were also once in business together as co-founders of the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain, it's a treat to see the trio trading macho barbs together on screen for the first time; the funniest line of the movie comes in response to Schwarzenegger's exit.

The scene is short-lived though, and Stallone's two buddies never appear onscreen again after that three-minute cameo. Of course, The Expendables boasts plenty of other action stars: Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, football star Terry Crews, and pro wrestlers "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Randy Couture. With the notable exceptions of Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Segal, and Chuck Norris, the movie is a veritable Who's Who of top action heroes from the past 30 years.

Unfortunately, there's not much to The Expendables beyond its gimmicky casting. The story is little more than an R-rated version of The A-Team and The Dirty Dozen, and the overall quality is closer to a direct-to-DVD release than a summer movie blockbuster.

The film features a specialized team of mercenaries sent to do covert missions that the U.S. government is afraid to touch. At the start of the movie, they're rescuing the crew of a cargo freighter held hostage by terrorist-pirates at sea. But with Barney Ross (Stallone), Lee Christmas (Statham), and company armed to the teeth, the baddies don't stand a chance.

Soon after, a CIA agent (Willis) offers Stallone another job: Infiltrate the (fictional) South American island of Vilena and interrupt the country's drug trade ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

The Expendables
Our Rating
2 Stars - Fair
Average Rating
(1 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
R (for strong action and bloody violence throughout, and for some language)
Directed By
Sylvester Stallone
Run Time
1 hour 43 minutes
Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li
Theatre Release
August 13, 2010 by Lionsgate
Browse All Movie Reviews By: