Venue: Ster-Kinekor Maerua Mall Director: Sylvester Stallone Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Mickey Rourke Genre: Action Rating: 1 star
What do you expect from an action film that includes almost every single Hollywood action star? Well imagine that those stars are chefs and The Expendables is the soup and that should give you an idea of the revolting slop that is being served up. Unfortunately, the film is not even hilariously bad. From the first bad guy who is severed in two, to the last bad guy who is sliced and diced, it is gratuitously violent swill.
The Expendables are a band of ruthless warriors, mercenaries for hire--"if the money's right, we don't care where the job is." If the A-team spent 30 years taking steroids and listening to heavy metal, while getting yet another tattoo to complement their spray tan, the result would be The Expendables.
Barney Ross is the cigartoting leader and the man with the plan, while Lee Christmas is the team's Casanova. The resident lunatic is Gunner Jensen, although he lacks any compensating genius and is just an unhinged thug. And there are a couple of other members providing the muscle to heave around their arsenal of weapons.
When The Expendables are hired to assassinate General Garza, the dictator of the Island of Vilena, Ross and Christmas fly in undercover as members of the Global Wildlife Conservancy, to scope out the situation. After some desultory filming of militia, they meet up with their extremely attractive "contact" on the island--Sandra--and proceed to blow their cover and obliterate half the island. During their laughably ridiculous escape, Sandra gets left behind and this gives Barney Ross the perfect excuse to return and obliterate the other half of the island.
Early on in the film there is a weak attempt to introduce a code of ethics for the mercenaries--"we don't kill like that"--this is then contradicted through out the next 100 minutes with a confused collage of killing in every possible way they can.
Times must be tough in Hollywood, or maybe Sylvester Stallone begged and bribed his friends to be involved. There are uncredited (were they too embarrassed?) cameos from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger that do little to improve the storyline. The primary objective of their scene seems to be to set-up Willis to ask, "What does he want?" as California's Governor stomps away--to which the response is " He wants to be President." It's a lot of film time for a cheap gag and it would not have been at all surprising if Arnie turned around and promised "I'll be back." Thankfully, he does not.
If you do get forced to watch The Expendables, it is possible to amuse yourself by spotting how many of the characters have cauliflower ears. This pursuit is encouraged in the film by a random lecture on the cause and condition of the cauliflower ear by an equally random character. Commence the cauliflower ear count from that point forward. The rest of the audience will probably be keen to join in and this should increase the entertainment value of the film immensely.