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Film review : AaeThe ExpendablesAAE.

Review by: Sheri Linden

Director: Sylvester Stallone

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, David Zayas, Giselle Itie, Charisma Carpenter, Gary Daniels, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke

Sylvester Stallone and his cast of fellow action stars flex substantial

ensemble muscle in this high-energy battle between good mercenaries and bad mercenaries,.

An effective mix of lean and over-the-top, The Expendables is often preposterous, but it achieves the immediacy of a graphic novel without the overdone mythology.

A group of freelance warriors who have lost their connection to righteous causes in favor of almighty cash, the Expendables may be hardened, but theyre not yet inhuman.

Leader Barney (Stallone) regards friends and enemies alike with a sad gaze (beneath strangely distracting eyebrows),.

Knife whiz Lee Christmas (Jason Statham) is man enough not to hide his hurt over a busted relationship, while combat expert Ying Yang (Jet Li) is angling for a raise.

In smaller roles, Terry Crews and his biceps handle the operations biggest weapons, and Mixed Martial Arts star Randy Couture explains things, like his cauliflower ear, in fine scientific detail.

After the high-body-count rescue that opens the film, Barney chooses to cut loose sniper Gunner (Dolph Lundgren), believing his (unseen) drug use and high volatility make him untrustworthya conviction thats soon validated when Barney and Gunner are on opposite sides in a clobbering car chase.

A couple of women figure in the story, but the subject is really the ties, broken and otherwise, in this brotherhood of latter-day samurais,.

In the films most nuanced scene, Mickey Rourke, ultra-charismatic as the ex-Expendable whose tattoo parlor serves as HQ and clubhouse, recalls the moment in Bosnia when he knew his soul had dried up.

The mission that wakens Barneys dormant compassion involves the fictional South American island country of Vilena, where a former CIA operative, Monroe, pulls the puppet strings of Dictator Gen,.

Garza (David Zayas, of Dexter),.

As the icy evil-in-a-suit rogue Munroe, you couldnt do much better than Eric Roberts.

Determining that if they take out the general theyd be sacrificing themselves to save the CIA embarrassing headlines, Barney and his boys turn down the assignment,.

But then he meets the generals beautiful rebel daughter, Sandra (newcomer Giselle Itie, suitably fiery), and for the first time in years, money isnt everything.

Americans are both heroes and villains in The Expendables, which avoids political specifics while embracing brute force as righteous retributionand shows the bad guys resorting to waterboarding,.

It can be an uneasy mix, but mostly its played on too broad a scale to take seriously,.

DP Jeffrey Kimball frames the action for kinetic impact and velocity,.

The extended fight scenes deliver the easy catharsis of straight-up violence, all with a comic-book sense of pow and splat.

TH

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Publication:The Star (Amman, Jordan)
Date:Sep 20, 2010
Words:480
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