Sylvester Stallone, a fit-looking 64, continues on his comeback trail with The Expendables.
He not only stars and directs, he even co-wrote this remembrance of better movies, and it is better than his last, Rambo, although that is faint praise. He even broke his neck in a fight with Steve Austin while making the film.
This time his Rambo-like character heads up a band of mercenaries including Jason Stratham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke and Dolph Lundgren, for extra star power. It even features cameos from Bruce Willis and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The best line in the movie is about Arnie’s real life political aspirations from Willis.
The film opens as the band takes on a boatload of vicious Somali pirates, whom all die in a bloodbath. But most of the film involves overthrowing a dictator in a fictional South American country. As you might expect, Sly and company work up a sweat and the occasional bruise taking out a whole army of bad guys with endless gunfire and multiple explosions. Judging by the box office there’s a big demand for mindless, sometimes incoherent, gory action pictures like.
As a director, Stallone is overly fond of facial close-ups in the few quiet scenes. As is the trend, much of the action is shot with a fuzzy moving camera and lots of quick edits, so it looks like a lot is going on but you can’t really see what is happening. Not that you’re missing any important plot twists.
Rating: two deer of five
Next Week on Video
Not much, including a not very good kid’s film, Marmaduke.