“The Expendables” Movie Review

     What a way to bring the summer movie season to a close!  “The Expendables” delivers everything you expect and more with tons of over the top violence, funny one liners, and a cast crammed with action heroes from yesterday and today.  I really don’t know where to begin, but save to say I was extremely excited about this movie and couldn’t wait for it to hit theaters.  Will The Expendables win Academy Awards?  Of course not.  It’s not that type of movie.  The Expendables serves one moviegoing purpose and that is to show you a good time, nothing more and nothing less.

     As far as style goes, if you remember the last “Rambo” film, you’ll see Sylvester Stallone picks up right where he left off with The Expendables.  I can imagine Stallone on the set of Rambo thinking about how in a different setting (and a bigger budget) he could take the action and blood splatter to a whole new level.  As the film’s Writer and Director, he certainly does.  The Expendables owns this years Highest Body Count by far and the action sequences come at you fast and furious.  Stallone doesn’t waste time here with things like plot, story, or long boring expositions by his characters.  It’s all action all the time.

     When you watch the trailer for The Expendables, you right away realize that every major action star of the past 3 decades has a role.  I, for one, thought there would be no way to give everyone of them plenty of juicy moments in the film, but I was wrong.  Along side Stallone, Jason Statham and Jet Li more than make their mark and are involved in some great fight sequences.  In lesser roles, Randy Couture and Terry Crews, who round out Stallone’s team of mercenaries, are also given plenty to do and say.  I thought it was neat that Stallone wrote into the script a scene where Couture explains how he got his signature cauliflower ears.  You can’t cast a better villain than Eric Roberts and Steve Austin makes a fine henchman .  Even Dolph Lundgren makes a big impact throughout and we are treated to cameo appearances by Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  All in all, you can’t ask for more in terms of casting.

     So how does one watch this film and come out pleased?  As I said before, don’t believe for a second this film will be mentioned during awards season.  It is not to be taken seriously.  An earlier film this year which really surprised me was “Kick Ass.”  In that film, the violence was over the top as well and I emerged from the theater thinking that movie really Kicked Ass!!!!  Emerging from The Expendables, I had the same exact feeling, as if I had just been on the latest thrill ride.  Believe it or not, these types of films do serve a purpose in the world of movies and that is to entertain.  It would be hard to believe someone seeing The Expendables and not feeling entertained.  The film is jam packed with more car chases, explosions, martial arts scenes, and gun play than you will probably ever see in a two hour film.

     With the Number 1 opening of The Expendables, Stallone has now become the only headlining actor to open a film Number 1 at the box office in each of the last 5 decades.  The man, who is in remarkable shape for a guy over 60 (for any age actually) knows how to construct an action scene. He also knows how to write characters audiences will cheer for. None of the characters or action sequences are original, but they are creative at times and always solid.  Like the latest Rambo film, The Expendables spends some time showing our bad guys doing the most wretched of deeds and then the audience takes pleasure as our heroes kick their ass.  Does it get any better than that? GRADE: B+