Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Action, Adventure
  • 2010

The Expendables

The Expendables

Synopsis

Various muscular old men blow things up, shoot things down and cut people up.

About

On paper, The Expendables sounded like it could be a must-see. When the trailer came out, it still seemed like it could be a must-see, to be filed under guilty pleasures. It's only when you watch it that the bargain basement desperation infusing the project seeps in and you file the whole thing under disappointing missed chances instead.

Let there be no mistake: an action movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone was a fantastic idea for a film. That film has not been made. This is a film starring Stallone and Jason Statham, and to be honest, the film belongs to Statham, who (possibly along with Jet Li) is the only one of the ensemble cast who doesn't come off like a long-faded beauty primping herself for one last moment in the spotlight (think Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, only unlike Gloria, these guys actually got to shoot the movie). And no, the fact that that they know it doesn't somehow make this ok, and yes, that goes for Bruce and Arnie in the nonsensical cameos that the disingenuous advertising for The Expendables is trying to pretend are proper roles.

There's really little point in getting into the plot in this one, save only to note that while the idea of a good-old fashioned '80s style action movie has mileage, it feels pretty uncomfortable watching our heroes intervene in the political fortunes of a small oppressed nation the only way they know how: by blowing up large swathes of it. They could have saved money and borrowed stock footage from Vietnam.

Like watching burly men blow things up? Check out our gallery of Top 25 Bloke Movies

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham
  • Director: Sylvester Stallone
  • Writer: Sylvester Stallone
  • Producer: Kevin King, Avi Lerner
  • Photographer: Jeffrey L Kimball
  • Composer: Brian Tyler

In a nutshell

Most reasonable people can understand the need to have a support group for elderly action heroes who want to relive the glory years. But did they really have to release it as a film? Unnecessary.

by Catherine Bray

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 Gone Too Far

    Gone Too Far

    Two estranged teenage brothers, one who grew up in Nigeria and one who frew up in Peckham, meet for the first time and struggle to accept each other

    On Film4: 10 Jul 11:10PM

  • Film4 The Three Stooges

    The Three Stooges

    The Farrelly Brothers pay tribute to The Three Stooges as Sean Hayes, Will Sasso and Chris Diamantopoulos bring a new take on Larry, Curly and Moe

    On Film4: 4 Jul 7:10PM

  • Film4 Kick Ass

    Summer Action Season 2015 on Film4

    Twelve nights of blockbuster action and adventure, every night from 9 on Film4

  • Film4 Arbitrage

    Arbitrage on Film4

    Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Brit Marling star in a drama about a hedge fund manager who makes a crucial error while attempting to sell his portfolio

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share