It's possible that you've never heard of this movie. Unless you're a movie nerd and read that they were making this for the past 5 months, you may not have see one ad for it. But The Expendables is an action movie written and directed by Sylvester Stallone and stars an all-star cast of anyone and everyone who has ever held a gun in a movie or ran away from an explosion in slow motion. Besides Stallone, it also stars Jason Statham (The Transporter, Snatch), Jet Li (Hero, Fearless), Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV, Masters of the Universe), Randy Couture (UFC fighter), Steve Austin (WWE wrestler), Mickey Rourke (Iron Man 2, The Wrestler) and even Bruce Willis and our Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to acting in this. I know what you're thinking, but trust me...it's good! Most of this is attributed to the movie not taking itself too seriously. The plot is straight-to-DVD quality and within the first five minutes you see man get shot in half, which is the sign of a real action movie according to my friend Dan. But remember that Stallone is a decent writer and director. Many people forget that he's an Academy Award-nominated writer and directed most of the Rocky series too. He's not that great of an actor and he's pretty painful to look at since having all that plastic surgery, but he's a damn fine leader of this group of guns for hire...and boy do they have guns! Big guns. Big knives. Big cars. Big motorcycles. Big explosions. Big tattoos. The movie drips with so much testosterone that if you go into the theater with a vagina, you leave with balls. But things have changed a tiny bit since these guys kicked hell out of bad guys again...now they talk about their feelings and admit to going to therapy. It's a sign of the times and a pretty funny theme in the film. But don't let all those...feelings...fool you. This movie is full of everything that you'd want from this pedigree. The action sequences are so insane and violent that by the end of the movie you don't really know who's fighting who and why they're blowing up the stuff they're blowing up. All you know is that it's AWESOME and you don't want it to end. The Expendables has the capability to get on the fast track to being a cult classic. You can almost see the Expendables Drinking Game rules now: "1. Do a shot every time you see a cauliflower ear. 2. Drink your beer whenever someone dies. 3. Chug your beer whenever you see a tattoo." And I have a feeling that Stallone would be okay with that, if that's the film's destiny. That's one of the reasons why the movie is so enjoyable. It didn't go into this hoping to be Oscar-nominated or bring respect back to some dusty old action relics. He made it to have fun, kick ass and probably to overcompensate for a lot of small penises. But let's face it, those are the three reasons you're going to see it too.
The Expendables (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: B+