Movie Preview: The Expendables

By Michael Vass | March 16, 2010

Sometimes a movie is just what you expect it to be. With the Expendables the promise is action, explosions, and a few snappy lines. I see no reason for the film to fail to deliver on all 3.

This is an action movie first and foremost. It’s a combination of the stars of the 80′s and the latest action movies. Stallone, Lungdren, Rourke, Statham, Li, and Austin. What a combination of testosterone, with enough bullets and explosiuons to level a mid-sized city. Which is pretty much the plan of the film.

The plot is simple enough. A group of mostly older mecenaries is hired to take out a South American dictator. Along the way they get double crossed by former associates, and have to fight to survive. Cliche but it works.

If you were going to see this film with the hope of understanding the greater meaning film can bring to the inhumanity of war and combat, wrong film.

The fight scenes look good (and they should since Stone Cold Austin would up fracturing Slyvester Stallone’s neck in their fight scene). Obviously the stars of this film all will get their moment to show off their particular talents and style. But we can also see that plenty of money was spent to ensure the battles would look huge and devastating. Because in an action film there is no such thing as overkill.

Plus there looks to be more than a few well timed and funny one-liners and situational jokes. Likely there will be other attempts that will fail, but as long as the writers didn’t try to fill every scene with a hoped for catchy phrase (Like in Running Man with the Governator) it should work more often than not.

Also keep an eye out for the rest of the 80′s stars. Which includes Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. Forest Whitaker had a role written for him, but had to drop out, initially to be replaced by 50 Cent (the thought sends a chill down my spine), and ultimately filled by Terry Crews who should fill in well. Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, and Kurt Russell all turned down roles in the film. Which is a shame as they really would have completed the mix of 80′s to current action film stars.

This won’t win Oscars, or likely any award other than from Spike TV or MTV. But this will almost certainly be one of the biggest money makers of the year. The real question is who out of the entire cast will have the best fight scene? My money goes on Jason Statham. Best one liner will almost definitely go to Stallone – it is his movie after all.

**Spoiler Alert**
Not everyone on the team will survive (Li and Crews are the likely victims). But there is already talk that those who do, will be in a sequel. Seagal and Russell might make it yet.

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