This one works as punishment!

Irritating; pretty much unlikable

Stallone leads a team of generic tough guys in ‘The Expendables’.

Have you ever had a film to which you looked forward quite a lot, but was devastated to discover how terrible it was upon seeing it? Perhaps it was Star Wars: The Phantom Menace for you? For me, though, it was most certainly The Expendables!

I still remember 2010 and how this was one of my most anticipated films. The cast, of course, is the main reason. Not only was this going to be the first time we’d get to see Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger all in the same room together, but the rest of the cast was going to consist of other famous action stars, such as Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Steve Austin and Dolph Lundgren. It must be an awesome film, right? Wrong.

The film’s plot – though it feels terribly unfair to call it that – involves a band of mercenaries, led by Barney Ross (Stallone), who know only lives of war and destroying bad guys. One day, Ross encounters Mr. Church (Willis) who gives him a new assignment; to take down a corrupt CIA agent (Eric Roberts, who seems to do nothing aside from playing villains) who has done some evil stuff, I s’pose. The man calls himself Church because he speaks with Ross in a church, where they also talk to Trench (Schwarzenegger) who is, in an amusing line by Stallone, revealed to want to be president.

After this we never see Willis or Arnold again, and somewhat strangely, the characters played by Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke and Randy Couture disappear as well. The film focuses on Ross and his soon-to-be boyfriend Lee Christmas (Statham) mostly, ignoring everyone else, except Dolph Lundgren’s character who threatens to switch sides and join the evil CIA agent.

Action stars, wrestlers and California’s governor.

I don’t feel like I need to explain the story any more than that; I really don’t feel like I’m leaving anything out. Well, all right; there is also the Latin American General Garza (David Zayas) who is forced to work for Roberts’ character. There is a scene towards the end where he gives his soldiers face paint, that sort of makes it look as though they have salamanders crawling across their faces. Why he does this is hardly explained. Something about ‘respect’ and ‘tradition’ or something.

The film’s dialogue is, for the most part exchanges in tough, badass one-liners which become increasingly hard to take seriously,  just like many of the film’s progressively silly and tiresome action scenes. I remember when I was watching the climax in the movie theater; things were exploding, people were fighting, guns were fired and it felt like it was never going to end. I nearly dozed off during an action film; are you wondering why I’m not giving this a positive review?

I wanted to like The Expendables; I wanted it to feel like one of them classic Stallone- and Arnold-films from the 80’s with some new stars thrown in, and I’m sure Sylvester Stallone wanted it to feel like an 80’s-movie. Too bad it failed, and too bad some of the stars are barely in the movie. Like I said, the movie seems almost entirely interested in only Stallone and Statham; reasons unknown. Stallone, Willis and Schwarzenegger were the ones I wanted to see.

This is probably the most extreme ‘Rated M For Manly’-film since the infinitely more cool and charming Commando; there are guns, muscles, silly one-liners, knives, motorcycles and meaningless murdering all over the place. It becomes harder to take seriously as the film progresses, but it isn’t like Commando which made me smile; instead I was just wishing for The Expendables to end, and do so quickly. The horrible chaos is set to horrible music. Watch The A-Team if you desire a 2010 movie that is both cool and funny.

Awfully bad dialogue, uninteresting characters, tedious action scenes, terribly shot, a dreadful soundtrack; there’s The Expendables for ya. A sequel is in the making, I’ve heard, and I am assuming it will be more of the same, and I can say for certain that seeing this drivel once, was once too many. Down here is the trailer, as well as Arnold’s entire screentime:

1/5 whatever

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