Movie Details: View Here
Ultimate Recon Mode
Inferno: The Making Of
From The Ashes: Documentary
Comic-Con 2010 Panel
Video: Widescreen 2.40:1 Color
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 7.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Run Time: 103 min
Synopsis from DVD Cover:
Sylvester Stallone stars as Barney Ross, leader of The Expendables, a tight-knit team of skilled combat vets turned mercenaries. Hired by a powerful covert operator, the team jets off to a small South American country to overthrow a ruthless dictator. Once there, they find themselves caught in a deadly web of deceit and betrayal. Using every weapon at their disposal, they set out to save the innocent and punish the guilty in this blistering action-packed thriller.
You know what I kept thinking about while I watched this film? Fox Force Five. In "Pulp Fiction," Mia Wallace had been in a pilot called Fox Force Five, a group of five foxy chicks, each with a specialty. Demolition, martial arts, knives...well, the Expendables are sort of Fox Force Five. With biceps and testosterone. They each have their little niche and a ridiculous name (Toll Road? Hale Caesar? You kidding me with this?) and together they're BAMFs and you better not get in their way. Hear? Anyway, they're a team of mercenaries who get hired to oust some South American dictator with CIA backing and blah blah blah who cares. Some stuff gets blowed up real good and a bunch of guys get a really thorough being-killed. This film was legendary for being a huge conflagration of action legends, although it's really just three of them who do most of the heavy lifting: patriarch Sylvester Stallone, up-and-comer Jason Statham, and the venerable Jet Li. Bruce Willis makes a single-scene appearance, and Steve Austin and Dolph Lundgren have smaller parts. Mickey Rourke's role is a bit strange; he's not one of the team, more like a mentor figure, but he's a staggeringly better actor than the rest of the cast to the point that his scenes almost feel out of place, because there's actual acting going on, and who the heck let that guy on set, anyway?
The plot is nonsense. The token pretty girl is a cardboard cutout. But the dudes deliver on their promise to kick some ass and take some names. For that, they cannot be faulted. Statham tries to bring some sensitive-dude aspects to his character (Lee Christmas, just as ridonkulously named as everyone else) with a pointless subplot about a cheating girlfriend and her abusive new boyfriend. He should stick to the badassery. Stallone wrote and directed this film to be just what it is; a nearly-uninterrupted stream of fights, shootouts, and explosions. They're staged effectively, and the camaraderie between the Expendables is where the film succeeds the most. The dialogue...well, it could definitely be a lot worse. Some of it is even pretty good. Stallone still sounds like he's delivering his lines through a mouthful of gummi bears. I've read and seen enough interviews with him to be aware that he's an intelligent guy, he's just getting up there and he's starting to seem a bit punch-drunk, or like he's had a minor stroke. Jet Li seems like he's phoning it in. Terry Crews brings some personality and Eric Roberts gnaws on the scenery but good. Most of the blood and death is blatantly CGI, at times a bit distractingly so. I much prefer practical visual effects for my gory bloody death.
I can't say I loved this movie. It held my attention. I might have appreciated it more on a big screen. As for the much-ballyhooed two-minute appearance by His Majesty, the Governator? Pointless in the extreme. He basically strolls into a scene in which he is not needed, getting a dramatic backlit entrance, stands around to exchange some ironic barbs with Stallone, then leaves again. It's the definition of gratuitous. But it does give us a scene with Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger onscreen at the same time. Which might not be so great after all. Like Rourke, Willis is so much better an actor than the other two that the whole thing is a little gross.
For a pretty brainless actioner, this disc features some top-flight extras. If you doubt my above assertion that Stallone is no dummy, listen to his feature-length commentary. It's entertaining and very informative, well worth a listen. Also included is a stellar 90-minute documentary about the process of bringing the film to the screen, mostly right by Stallone's side, with very little filler or talking heads. An in-depth and refreshing look at the making of a complicated movie. A shorter film about the post-production, the entirety of the film's Comic-Con panel, a short gag reel and one lonesome deleted scene complete the menu. A lot of good, quality content.
A fun film if you like mindless action and drool over action royalty kicking it old-school. Some really good extras elevate the film to something worth renting or owning.